It had been nagging me for months, though I couldn't put my finger on exactly what it was. Things with my work have been going well and keeping me busy, but something didn't feel quite right. I know a lot of people, more than I've ever known at any other time in my life. I spend much of my day connecting with them in one way or another.
I already know almost all of you will be in one of two camps. Some of you will immediately feel my pain and totally get what I'm talking about. Others will think I'm making much ado about nothing and ought to let go of my outdated idea of how and where content is best shared. There will be a handful in the middle; those who can see both sides, but there won't be many of you in this third group. That said, let's get ready to rumble!
In addition to all of the presentations and workshops, one of the many wonderful aspects of the recent LeWeb conference in Paris is the opportunity to connect with others who are working on innovative projects and developing new applications which make our lives easier or more productive. As I was listed as one of the LeWeb Official Bloggers, I received a few requests to meet from those interested in obtaining coverage for their product or for one of their clients
For any normal person, not connecting online for a short while doesn't seem odd. In fact, it makes sense. When I notice that someone hasn't posted in a few days, I assume they are out and about living their lives. When a social media geek like myself doesn't post updates to Facebook or Twitter and too many days have passed since my last blog post, people begin to wonder if I've fallen off the Earth.
Ugh. Does anyone like dealing with the DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles)? Seldom does a day go by without seeing a tweet or a post from some tortured soul waiting in a painfully long line at the DMV. Similar to that other beloved public agency, the IRS, the DMV has a reputation for confusing processes, no sense of customer service and an infrastructure stuck in the technological dark ages.
I'm a fairly self-assured person. Sure, I have days where I wonder about my place in the world or why, despite my best efforts, I continue to have jiggly arms. Still, most days, I'm confident of my abilities, my fabulous sense of humor, my remarkably average looks and my good fortune to know lots of killer-smart people. How, then, with all this self-confidence, did Facebook manage to hurt my feelings?
Where did the romance go? When did we stop asking, "Tell me about yourself," "Do you like to take long walks on the beach?" or even the tired old line, "What's your sign?" Suddenly, upon meeting someone new, they immediately try to score and ask me to go over to their place to seal the deal.
While many of us use social networking tools differently, most of us struggle with similar questions and challenges. Should I connect only with family and good friends on Facebook and only business contacts on LinkedIn? How secure should I feel when using Facebook's privacy settings to determine which groups of friends can or cannot see particular photos? Should I be concerned when someone tags me in a photo or I comment on someone else's post?
You know those words, the ones that make your skin crawl and set your teeth to grind mode when you see them? What's up with those people? Don't they know how to spell? Did they sleep all through elementary school?
Hey, you! Yeah, you standing in line at Starbucks using your phone to check-in while waiting to get your daily latte. We need to have a word. We've been connected for awhile on Twitter and Facebook. I like you, really I do. I enjoy getting to know you better through our connection. I appreciate the information you've shared about your interests and news in your area of expertise.