Let’s Call It “Connected” Media Instead…?
Has it ever seemed a bit peculiar to you that sometimes it seems as though this whole “social” media thing can sometimes be just the opposite of what I tend to think of as being “social”? When I was growing up the schools, churches, and other organizations had Ice Cream Socials. Now, those were very social indeed. Lots of folks would attend, games were played by the young at heart, and there were all sorts of other activities. These activities were of course in addition to the ice cream. As you can imagine, at an ice cream social all of the interaction was on a very personal, usually face-to-face basis.
It’s been a really long time ago since I last attended an ice cream social, but as best I can recall no one there was texting anyone else, talking on a cell phone, or even checking their Smartphones. In fact, I am quite sure no one was doing this because it would be another 40 years before cell phones became a mainstream as we know them today. And here we are talking about this thing called social media where we can literally have 3,000 “friends” on Facebook and nobody to go to lunch with. Few if any of the interactions involve anything remotely close to personal or face-to-face and yet we refer to it as the ultimate in “social” media. Someone could probably be considered a social media expert without ever even meeting anyone in person. To me that seems to be just the opposite of “social” media.
Don’t get me wrong, there are tons of very beneficial reasons and applications for those wanting to be “connected” to about a gazillion other people. Heck, we use social media at the Chamber many times each day. We don’t really think of it as anything social; what we do know is that it is an awesome tool for keeping folks “connected”. Now if we could just start the ball rolling to change the name of this phenomenon from social Media to Connected Media, think how much better that would be...ha! I’ve often heard of something like this as perhaps “ringing the bell”. Once it’s rung, you simply cannot un-ring it. I don’t really have any false illusions that it will ever happen; but it does make me wonder how the word social was so quickly and universally accepted as the term to best fit our newest way of staying connected. But then again, I often wonder why they call them “apart”ments in the first place when they are clearly all stuck together.