Social Media Paranoia

Recently, my son mentioned that he “hung out” at a bar, playing pool with some well-known musicians.  While at the bar, a number of the people were taking pictures — which he would normally think was pretty ‘cool.’  But instead of enjoying the moment, he said he kept thinking about where these photos might surface on Facebook.

Another short story:  I looked at my Facebook page the other day and noticed some comments/questions from a person in my office — and she is situated no more than 10 feet away from me.  (My message to her: Isn’t this crazy that I’m practically looking at you and we’re conversing through Facebook?  Strangely enough, she didn’t think so.)     

But isn’t that a bit crazy?  We’re within shouting distance, and we do speak to each other from time to time, but our main conversations are now taking place on Facebook.  (I can only hope that our Facebook relationship blossoms into some real conversation around the ‘water cooler’ or an occasional lunch; she’s probably thinking that a more personal relationship isn’t necessary, we just need to keep up the conversation on Facebook.)  

So, I ask myself, where is this heading?  Pretty soon, we will just nod to one another as we pass by and say, “Hey, catch me on Facebook.” Because, after all, we’re all pretty busy with our work and our personal lives (of sorts) – which now includes a lot of emails, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, blogging, etc.  And, we don’t want to be drawn into anything that relates to inter-personal skills, do we?

Which started me thinking…how else are Facebook et al affecting our day-to-day lives?

Facebook allows people we weren’t really missing (just dodging?) to “find” us.

We’re plied with any number of games and contests from our friends on Facebook which we feel compelled to answer/join.

Twitter makes us aware of the number of followers we have each and every time we access our page (which may seem to some like a repetition of the popularity contests of the high school variety).

Twitter Lists can become another popularity measurement (no one listed me?)  

No one picks up on our discussions on LinkedIn.

We now pay more attention to our Blackberries than our credit cards (although we seem to use both to the extreme!)

I’ll bet you can think of more….


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