The post earlier this week called What are people looking for in Social Networking? has got 2 fantastic comments by Bernie Goldbach and David Phillips which are worth reading. A quote from David really hit a chord with me
"Sociologist Sherry Turkle, in New Scientist, expressed her worries that online living is transforming human psychology by deskilling us from being able to be alone, and managing and containing our emotions. We are developing new intimacies with machines that lead to new dependencies - a wired social existence, "a tethered self". Conversation becomes merely sharing gossip, photos or profiles, not, on the whole, the deeper aspects of commitment, community and politics."
I was thinking this is also true for mobiles, for PDA's, for Tivo's! Maybe that most human need of belonging or need is coming from machines and less from humans? This then would explain the increase in people feeling lonely despite being surrounded by friends?
I can't wait to explore this on the podcast with David. Maybe to develop a great personal brand, a great leadership brand - the trick is to use the "machinery" to make the connection, but it must then be combined with human to human connection. Are we forgetting to combine the two? Are we becoming lazy and almost doing a Henry T Ford - "You can have my details, all my details as long as they are online" When you look at people or businesses that are succeeding in the Web 2.0 world - they are combining virtual and physical presence. They are not dehumanizing the experience, they are humanising the online connection (Southwest being a great example). How
- Telling stories of their lives
- Using video of real people, often employees and consumers
- Attendance at events - so people can interact with the real "brand"
- Sharing their voice - podcasting, their faces - video
- Even the use of Second Life as a solution for distance and time differences
Maybe Web 3.0 will be about putting the "human" back into "social" networks - maybe the feeling of web overload is because we are relying on the machine for the friendship rather than as the means of the connecting with people? Mmmm bit heavy for a Friday night but what do you think or feel about this area?