Is Social Media becoming an oxymoron?

I subscribe to a ton of blogs on Social Media. It takes me several visits and loads of time to clear my Google reader every day. As a result, I’m a headline scanner. Grab me or lose me.

This one grabbed me: Why Color May Be The Next Twitter. It is a blog post from Richard MacManus which you can read here.

I will admit that I do not use this new “Color” app. However, there were two points raised in this post that kind of startled me.

Proximity – It seems this new app works best when you are physically close to other people. As a father of three teenage girls I understand the difficulty of communication when someone is nodding their head to what you’re saying while performing the double-thumb tango on their smart phone. Multi-tasking is not the same as multi-listening.

But, I worry about the value of a Social Media platform that requires us to be in the same area in order to communicate. Maybe I’m being silly but if I’m close enough to you to share the experience….shouldn’t I just share the experience with you? Is the sharing not valid unless we post and re-post it? Whatever happened to eye contact?

Look, I’m not an idiot. I get that Color has the potential to offer multiple views of the same event. I thought I could do that via Facebook and Twitter. Who knew I needed a new platform?

The second point Mr. MacManus raised was that apps like Color “augment our real world experiences“.

Isn’t that what Timothy Leary said about LSD?

Is in not enough to have a smart phone with a camera that I can record for posterity my current experience? We’ve been doing that since the days of Kodachrome. Is “augmenting” my real world experience just another way of saying “scrapbook”?

Every week I read an article from a pundit, guru or self-professed expert touting the “next big thing” in Social Media.  Even as we speak there are techies all over the world looking to develop a Social Media platform for some under served niche or that has a new, cool functionality. (Remember Diaspora?)

And every day we end up back on our Facebook page, answering our email, checking out Linked In and surfing You Tube.

We only have so much time in the day. Social Media occupies an increasingly larger portion of it. As smart phones get smarter and 4G begets 5G which will inevitably lead to 6G, Social will be our dominant form of media consumption.

That doesn’t mean we’ll slice that time up with more and more platforms. You may have 500 cable channels but how many do you really watch? At some point we reach overload. At another point we find there’s not enough there there.

Speaking of quality time, the next time you’re at an event and in the proximity of someone you know take the bold, assertive step and actually talk to them.

It might augment your real world experience.

Your thoughts?

Steve Allan, Social Media Specialist



About Steve Allan

I am a Social Media specialist uniquely focused on the management, messaging and marketing of social media platforms for non-profits and small businesses.
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One Response to Is Social Media becoming an oxymoron?

  1. Elias Shams says:

    It’s no brainer to see that FB and other social media channels are here to stay for good. Given vast variety of the existing channels to choose and stick with, it’s time for such a hot space to enter into a new category. There is a need for a portal to provide a quick and intelligent decision for both the consumer and the enterprise about their online connections.

    A Platform to Help us to Distinguish Our Quality vs. Quantity Friends, Fans, Followers, and Companies

    Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Youtube, Flickr and others have been doing a decent job of providing additional marketing exposure and even in some cases, additional revenue. However, as more and more social networking sites pop up, how do you manage your brand across all these channels? Maybe more importantly, which one of these sites should you select as the one that will help you best reach your target audience? The proliferation of the social media avenues is becoming overwhelming.

    This glut of information reminds me of the early 90’s when WWW was adopted broadly by the general public. Every company rushed to have a presence, to the point it became literally impossible to find the right information on the Web. That’s when a better generation of search engines – at first the Yahoo! and then Google – entered the market and helped us find the most relevant information by just typing simple keywords in their search box. If you had asked before Google launched, if there was a need for another search engine – most would have said no, we already have those….

    Then came Web 1.0 & 2.0 – Youtube, Flickr, myspace, Facebook, Twitter and countless others have turned everyday people into content producers, influencers and experts. We basically tripled down on the information overload How do you know which channels to select for deploying your social media strategy? How do you know which one is the right channel to let your fans and followers to find you, your products, and services? Most importantly, who is Joe Smith that is recommending that person, that company, that product?

    I hope my can accomplish such a mission. The site is not another social networking platform. Yet the portal to all your existing social media channels. The platform helps you, your fans, your potential clients to make an intelligent decision as to which company to connect to or follow via which social media channels and why? It’s free!

    CEO & Founder

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