Thursday, October 21, 2010
The Prodigal Daughter of Social Networking
So at my new job, I am the Social Networking and Media Guru.
I know right?
I just brought my company into this century by creating them a blog and a Facebook and a Twitter page and right now I am the Prodigal Daughter of my workplace.
I am being hailed as the Technological Chief of the building.
It got me thinking. (Brace yourselves...)
All my Social Media nonsense started as an escape for me. A way to reach out and meet people when I was essentially trapped in a way. Trapped in various shitty situations and using the powers of the internet to seek out like-minded friends from around the globe to ease my "I am not the only one feeling this shit am I?" emotions.
No one I knew in my "real" life was on them when I started. Most never heard of them. Late nights after working the retail jungle, I would log on to my SWYDM and Friendster accounts and chit chat with people. Share comments and commentary about everyday things. Then all those Online friends I made, we became REAL friends. People I sought advice from, shoulder's I could cry on. People I still talk to today.
We would share our stories of relationships, families,school, work and pregnancies. We bonded. We would have phone calls and send care packages from state to state. It was pretty freaking cool. Out of the cold and desolate internet, these warm bodied and loving people actually existed. They seemed to care more than the people I interacted with on a daily basis.
We then made the transition to a new and exciting place. MySpace. It was shiny and new and we made profiles that were geared towards our own individual personalities. We shared pictures and sent "Bulletins" in ways of quirky survey's about our lives.
I generally filled these out with snarky and sarcastic answers. It was fun. Thinking about answers to everyday questions with whatever asshole answers I could come up with. (I miss it a little...)
We passed time, shared experiences.
A few years passed and our secret hidden gem became popular. Pretty soon EVERYONE was adding you on MySpace. Your friends list grew as people you went to school with, worked with or were friends with came out of the woodwork to join in the phenomenon you had been on since it started.
And then came Facebook. A not-as-flashy version of networking that was geared more towards the college set at the time. It was different when it started. No one wanted to convert from MySpace to Facebook. It wasn't as "Fun". It wasn't colorful or flashy. NO ONE was on it.
Funny what a couple years and a lot of media attention can do for a website.
Pretty soon, MySpace became boring. Stale. We started giving Facebook a chance and BOOM! Social Network explosion.
Now there isn't a business, a person, hell even a grandparent who isn't on Facebook.
Much like the hesitance with Facebook among MySpace junkies, Twitter was close on it's heels. People mocked it as a "Status update only version of Facebook".
It wasn't fun or exciting. There weren't virtual Mafia's to contend with or Farms to tend. It was just up to the minute 140 character snip-its of what you were doing.
And again BOOM! Tweets are now the new text message. (which of course is the new email, which was of course the new phone call...)People are forever connected to some sort of technology. You update them from your phone, your computer, even from your TV if you gave Fios.
It's funny to think that I started this technological venture before it was "cool". That I was ahead of the curve with it all. As soon as I heard of each new thing, I instantly would create an account. I would delve into the ins and outs of how each site worked. I would ask people about if they were on it and they looked at me as if I had 10 heads (still do most of the time, but that's likely for other reasons beyond my control).
So now I wonder what's next. What Harvard or MIT genius, who sits in his dorm room alone and girlfriendless, will become the next Fortune 500 billionaire? Who of those World of Warcraft playing addicts sitting in their underwear in their parents' basement for hours on end will emerge long enough to attent their IT classes and come up with the next technological craze?
Funny, I'll likely be on that bandwagon, too.