Tuesday, October 16, 2007

social media - ego or human necessity?

Facebook status, relationship updates, social bookmarks, blogs, twitts. Why? what's the point
But why? what's the point? Does anyone really care? I suppose amongst a close circle of friends sharing pictures is good, but who cares what I thought about the Bourne Ultimatum?

At times I felt most of "2.0" was very narcissistic. Why should one broadcast this dear diary sort of stuff for all the word to read? After spending some time in this world i realize it's less about my need to broadcast myself, more about connecting with others.

In this increasingly computer-oriented society a basic human need is to feel connected to other people. When people are spending more and more time in the virtual world, and less in the real world it's natural to feel less connected. Social media does bring us closer together. Understanding what excites and motivates our friends and family is important. Being able to share anecdotes with someone after you both saw the same movie or read an article is nice. Social media gives us new opportunities to connect with people we don't always have time for.

Why did I get into social media? I believe a web persona or brand is critical for any career-minded individual. A linked in profile is becoming the new resume. Don't think that your facebook profile doesn't carry weight as well. Recruiters and employers are accessing social networks and just plain googling applicants. Why not? It's the new reference check. Normal references from are glowing half-truths from your former coworkers. Googling someone can provide insight on what sites they frequent, which articles they comment. A little digging and patterns of behaviour begin to emerge. You can get to know someone quite well. Anyone can put on a good show in an interview. Google now contains a life portfolio for all to see. The stalker implications are a wee bit frightening.

There are different motivations for using social media, but I no longer think it's just narcissistic blathering.

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