Social Evolution: Would you add yourself as a friend?
Once I read a book which was about defining what “a good idea” is. The writer was claiming that “A good idea is a combination of two ideas that has never been together before.” And so far, this is the best definiton I’ve ever heard.
I believe in the deep inside, this all started with a simple question: “We are social animal as human beings. And we have media to communucate. Why not to combine two and see if this works? If this is a good idea?”
Appearently it is.
Social media came like a tornado. From nowhere, to everywhere. I find it quite mesmerizing that this all happened in 10 years. Now we have new vocabulary. New words like “hashtag” and “selfie”. New definitions of “follow”, “tweet” and of course “like”. New phrases like “google it”. This all happened in less then 5 years. Changing language. Well, this IS big deal. As an adman I always fascinated by using the language, playing with the words. And what I learned from my seniors in the past years, just like Murphy’s golden rule, “Whoever has the language, makes the rules.” Language is the only tool that you can create culture. If you don’t think so, try raising a child.
Social media has the language and making the rules. It first started as a place to hangout, but escalated quickly. The reason was simple, all the young folks were there and nearly all the brands would love to reach young target audience. Suddenly we all started to become “friends” with brands. But this friendship is a pure “friends with benefits” situation of course. With brands starting embracing social media, this all turned into a business, and so far, you know the rest.
We all know what you did last summer for God’s sake!
But what is the reason behind all this developing monster? What is this “selfie” madness? Why do I have to know what you did last summer? Why we still didn’t say “Enough” to all this and went back to our old lives?
It’s because, we all found our personal shrink. Or let me tell you this way, we all met ourselves. Naked and exposed.
Its’ just like going to a foreign country for holiday. You have a chance to reset your being to others. You can get drunk, swim naked, do drugs or just lay down and watch the sea. You can do anything you like, you can act anyhow you like. You are the “patient zero” of your social behavior experiment.
But you are not in another country. You are not even changing the room. So, this is a difficult urge to resist.
In the beginning we had “nicknames”. Being anonymous was -an still is- a powerful thing. Just like vacation thing. You can do whatever you like, say whatever you want to and no one really know who you are. This was the magic. This was the reason why social media became a habbit more than a tool. But by the time passed by, being anonymous became more “coward” than “sexy”. Others started to complain about identities, suddenly you started to look like a 12 years old behind a screen who is angry to everyone.
So “real-me” phase started. We all started using our real names, putting our real pics as avatars and started showing off at meetups. Everyone must knew who the popular guy/girl is. And there goes the masks.
We were all real people, and writing down real things, real thoughts.
To my opinion, the answer is no. We were still “acting”. Acting to be cool, acting to be wise, acting to be hot and mostly acting to be single. This was the next phase. This phase created its own faces for brands and for followers. We all loved them, we all hated them. We all called them “opinion leaders”. They were the celebrities of new generation. A jobless guy who spends 17 hours on the computer suddenly become someone very important for a very big brand.
We all got mad. Not in an angry way. We all loose ourselves because this my friend, is batshit crazy.
Nowadays, out so called opinion leaders are loosing power. Real celebrities are taking of the game. Thats ok. But what is not ok is, we all exposed.
We all wanted to be that guy/girl. We acted to be like them. We forgot who we are. And when we remembered, we all exploded. We started to act like real me. We all went to basic but what we missed is, we are not behind of fake names and pics. We are who we are.
We are showing more than what we tend to show. We are sharing our bathroom pics, our meals, our hates, our egos. We all exposed. Our personal shrink left us all alone and we are opening all of our folders. Habbit took over the logic and we all started using social media without thinking.
This leads to where? I don’t know where it leads but as far as I can tell, this led to pure naked truth. Being asocial or technosocial made as the socialist ever. Suddenly social media became a “litmus” for the true personalities.
We are all meeting our siblings maybe for the first time. Our our “BFF” suddenly seems “not-so-BBF”. Oh and that celebrity you are dying for, yes, you got it.
Nowadays this situation amaze me. Meeting the real person in cyberspace for real. Maybe we all have to pull ourselves together and before running and screaming around for our leaked photos of partly covered bodies, we have to reconsider the limits of our social habitat. We have to build that limits.
Are you that kind person anymore?
Will you add yourself as a friend?