o I was having dinner Friday night with my Dad and his partner Liz and talking about various things when the focus of the conversation fell into Social Media or specifically FACEBOOK as it so often does at dinner tables all across America these days. The interesting thing is it brought up the issues of Privacy, or how Liz feels about Privacy, how I do and how Dad does. And how do each view Social networks and community? You see, Dad had just put up a Facebook page a few months ago and then he added LinkedIn since he had received a number of requests to join from old friends. So the story begins;
The real question in Liz’s mind boiled down to ” Who’s really got your back” or put another way, given her experience with close friends sharing “in person at dinner parties or on the phone”, she perceives a deep bond and trust with her friends. Can this really happen in a Social environment like Faceook? It is a Psychosocial question – How do people bond or relate when exchanging seemingly meaningless or trivial chatter most of the time in such an open public forum? And what about Privacy? It just can’t be good and a closed community of friends is better, even when you may not hear from them for a long time….says Liz
Well- My Turn. Now, to say I live in the public eye may be an understatement at times ( or not ), certainly I am no big celebrity although I have been called one many times, among other colorful names….hahaha…but I DO live very “Socially Public” life in 2012 with over a dozen public platforms from Facebook ( 2 actually there), Twitter, (2 there as well) my website, different blogs, LinkedIn etc. and I use them daily, sometimes multiple times. Now to be fair, it is also my business to a large degree and I am a complete Tech geek & early adopter ( I was on almost all of these in Beta or first launch ) but honestly, I enjoy them and unlike LIz and others, I do think you can have a community within them if used properly.
My points on this. First, the phone-book has been around for every. Your name & Address are in it and if someone wants to contact you, its easier that way than through the Internet. So isn’t privacy is a bit of an illusion. Furthermore, I asked about being at a party and telling someone what was going on with you (Liz) and catching up. My point was, you share what is happening in your life at that party with that friend or acquaintance, and with many many people that night, and they in turn catch others up on your life (accurate or not) that they talk to, and so on and so on. WELL – seems pretty public to me because I don’t think you know EVERYONE at that party and I promise you the stories you shared will change as they go around the room and the phone or water cooler the next day…. SO wouldn’t you rather have some control over that? Well, write an update on Facebook and Voila, YOUR WORDS are there to stay and not be confused in the way YOU choose.
Now I can go on about that and more, but this is getting long. My main point to her was this: In reality, through social networks I not only know what is going on with her ( or that person updating ) but I know what is going on with their kids whom I love, their parents, cousins etc etc. What is happening at their job, their school or what new activities they are doing and perhaps when and where they are going on their next vacation (so we can met up?). And when I next see them, I will have ALL of this knowledge in my head – Now we can have a really great DEEP talk, because we don’t have to cover all the “little” stuff or if something bad happened ( a death or injury to them or a loved one ) we are both better prepared to handle it. NOW THAT is what I call a REAL BOND and a DEEP relationship platform, much more than a phone call twice a year (maybe) and a way to have true trust.
I just had this experince this week when I saw a friend “in person” I had not seen in 2 + years. But I knew EVERYTHING he had gone through, good and bad. So for the next few days we had a BLAST and some of the best talks EVER…and I 1000% give the credit to Facebook, LinkedIn and other updates he shared with me and others. Actually, I saw a number of friends this week and had very similar experiences ( at CES in Vegas, Geek central lol!! ).
So I ‘think’ we agreed there is a real value in a Social network. Some are for personal use, some for business – and all need to be used cautiously and appropriately (as does everything in life). But how cool is it to be able to stay in touch with 100’s of people you have met in life, each whom you love or care about in some special way and to see them grow as people – parents – sons and daughter! It takes a village right? And we are ALL Family in the beginning and in the end. So I encourage you to give it a try, share your life,your success and pain, you may be surprised how it benefits you or whom you may help and never know it.
And yes, I think that you will find those friends have your back! You can certainly on me!