I don’t think a day goes by that someone doesn’t email me or text me or message me on Facebook with some new website I “must” checkout or some new techno add-on for my iPhone. What’s crazy, is that I actually check this stuff out. What’s even more crazy is that there is so much stuff out there constantly ramming its trendy marketing message onto my screen through popups and pop-unders and slide-outs and pretty soon someone’s hand is just going to reach out from the screen and grab me by the throat if I don’t input my name and email address.
Most websites I visit make me feel like I’m under assault. Like if I don’t buy something or give them my date of birth and entire family genealogy that I’m some sort of idiot whose missing out on the next big thing. But the simple fact is that if you settle back and weed through all the hipster-istic hype surrounding most of these monumental wastes-of-time you’ll realize that’s exactly what they are – a waste of time. But that can be a good thing.
Take any of these new up-and-comers like Pinterest and via.me and you’ll find people investing part of their days and nights whiling away the hours sharing images and thoughts and interacting with others. It’s mostly superficial narcissistic nonsense but there’s a certain sense of creativity and a definite desire for self-expression apparent as you scroll down the screen of life.
Twitter is a whole other deal. I don’t know if these people believe half the stuff they’re Tweeting or if they’re doing it for pure shock value or if they truly believe the world gives a doody what song they just listened to whilst they were idling in the drive-thru at Burger King.
But being the positive guy I am I always look for the silver-lining. And the silver-lining is this. The world has moved online. We’re plugged-in, wire-less, and more connected with the people around us than ever before. I know what my friends who I haven’t seen for a decade are up to. I know what their kids look like. I stay in touch with Ivan from Argentina who I met in Los Barriles, Mexico when he was riding Chez Guevara’s ‘Motorcycle Diaries’ route from the Al-Can to Tierra del Fuego.
I’ve met people from all over the world and I can reach out to them in minutes. What I share with them, a link, a website, or something I think they should check out can be shared hundreds, thousands, sometimes a million times over with a simple tap from the tip of an index finger.
That, in my opinion, is why we are obsessed with the latest greatest online or wireless phenomenon. We are no different than the first people to use telephones. Those rubes must have said to each other, “You mean I talk into this little do-hickey thing here and my voice comes out all the way down there at the other end of the street?”
“That’s right Thadeus,” Hilda replied, “It’s called a tellee-fone. Everybody’s gonna have ‘em.”
And just like today, everybody’s going to be on social media sooner or later, it is inevitable. And if you’re not on it, you will get run over by it. Better to embrace it because most likely your competition already has.