2010 is the year that the world started to wake up to how technology, and social media in particular, is fundamentally changing how we live, behave and interact. As early adopters joined Facebook in 2004 and Twitter in 2006 they were chided by friends and family who thought they were just goofing off online. In reality they were laying the foundation for how personal and professional worlds are connecting and expanding today. There are three major changes from which we can never go back. Let’s explore them, shall we?
1. There’s a new meme in town. Either/or thinking has been replaced with both/and thinking. When social media first hit the scene all you read about for a few years was “Traditional Media vs. Social Media,” “Online advertising and blogs are putting the smackdown on newspapers,” “Traditional media is dying and new media is the only way to go.” This pseudo-battle makes for good headlines, but it’s complete B.S.
Starting from these simplistic and juvenile perspectives of “new = good so old = bad” was based on people feeling scared. The older you are and the less you use technology, the more this world may not make sense to you and, like it or not, it is where the world is today and where it will be tomorrow. But there is no need to be scared.
The truth is that our world is full of “both/and” propositions. You’ll both watch TV and use the internet, but you’ll watch less TV and will be Twittering on your TV screen while you load a YouTube video. Advertisers will reach more people with more trackable data through social networks, and they’ll still be placing Super Bowl ads. You’ll still make friends at work, and you’ll make friends in other countries when you participate in social networks.
2. Innovation and creativity are helping us to do more faster. The interwebs have crushed the barrier to entry for starting a company and creating new products and services. I stole the Do More Faster line from the new book by Brad Feld and David Cohen of Techstars. Read their blogs and the new book to get great insights into how innovation is exploding like never before. The creative class is finally hitting a tipping point where we are making the business world more collaborative, fun and dynamic for everyone. Some exclusivity will always be around, but inclusivity is on the rise. (Remember the new meme?)
3. Privacy is dead. Lets start with the study revealing that 92% of 2 year olds in the U.S. have an online record. Imagine a 2 year old of today when she is 30. Everything from her sonogram, emails, text messages, and browsing history to her YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, World of Warcraft and Club Penguin use will be archived. Now add to that geo-location enabled pictures and videos that other people tag her in. This is where we are headed.
Brian Solis believes that “we are the last generation to know privacy as it was and from now on, it will have to be taught. We are entering a new era of publicness or publicy, where we are solely responsible for creating and defining our online persona.”
I think he’s right and the people that understand this, accept it and take responsibility for their online persona will be better for doing so. Watch the interview he did with Michael Fertik of Reputation Defender for a deeper analysis of what it means to live online when you didn’t opt-in to have your information sold and shared without your permission.
These are the top 3 changes I’ve noticed while looking at the world through my personal filter. What are you seeing changing and where do you think we’re heading as our online and offline lives continue to merge?
This article was originally posted at Oxstein Labs.