Sunday, August 17, 2008

the pheno-ME-non.

admittedly I’m not hip, so it was only after I had to accept the invitation in order to find out who was going to the 20 year high school reunion that I joined facebook (4 years later). initially, it was interesting to receive requests, re-connect with old mates and yes even catch up with the one’s that got away. I invited friends, posted pictures and quickly used that forum as a way to direct people towards our exercise platforms and as many events as I could. shortly thereafter, I think I could have deactivated the account and not really missed that much (everyone I wanted and needed to speak with on a regular basis came onto my email account or passed on a phone number).

yes, “it’s all about the networking & marketing” and I completely understand that. post something and… (like a bad virus in most cases, a needed vaccination in some) it can spread to tens, hundreds, and thousands instantly. surprisingly, those I really wanted to contact (and tried through this medium) were not on it. curious, I wanted to know why and when I contacted them (by phone), the resounding answer was ‘I just don’t have the time’ or ‘I don’t need 158 one and done friends’ or ‘why would I want to be contacted by xx or yy’. it was their opinion and I was ok with that choice.

my personal conclusions about facebook are the following:

1. people waste a lot time on this medium. I invited my entire staff to be my friend, only to see many of them on FB in the middle of the workday. With clearly defined responsibilities, this begged the question why?

2. people have been marketed to believe others are interested in what they are doing. in most cases they have become their biggest agent and audience. there is a feature on FB that provides an up to the minute synopsis of what you are doing, which many people have no trouble filling regularly. Think about this. I’m going to make a decision to do something (or I have done something), so I’m going to go to the keyboard, log on and let everyone else know what I did or will be doing? Surely, you have something more productive to do?

3. FB is the final caveat to the whole reality series, Hollywood 2.0 – audience gets the say, look at ME, blog about ME, film ME, watch ME, listen to ME mentality that has invaded our social psyche. The idea that ME too should be my own celebrity, spokesperson, actress / actor or simply information voyeur has become mainstream in our society.

4. overall, our inability to focus on doing a few things well, could be what perpetuates us running around aimlessly doing multiple things half assed. how people I hear who have archived, documented and shared every ‘significant’ moment of their lives on one hand, but are soooooo busy on the other isn’t a mystery.

What I find interesting about the pheno-ME-non isn’t where it is – but where it’s going to end up. With the rapidly expanding population of marketing fed - egos vs. the premium on relevant real time, how are we going to possibly keep the spotlight on us as others demand it for them?

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