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Showing posts from September, 2011

The Social Illusion

Online is a different kind of 'social' -  connecting, exchanging information in public. Although each 'social' interaction is a thread, the participants are not working within the context of the conversation.

Being present online is not a social activity as much as a pre-social activity: forming, testing, aligning and finding common threads. This applies to all digital presence advertisement networks - email, chat, social, mobile.

Through the beguiling ease and simplicity of being this early kind of social, the illusion sets in - that this is all it is to be social.

Digitized packets of emotion emerge in society, but don't necessarily build society, as much as they aid in building a marketplace - a market for sharing information once thought the domain of one-on-one conversations. They help to democratize conversations. In that sense, digital emotions are a welcome addendum to the normal channels of building one's society, identity and purpose.

But to treat th…

Digital emotions

First, information wanted to be secret.  Next, information wanted to be valuable. Then it wanted to be free. Now, information wants to be a commodity.

First, ideas were conveyed with single word grunts. Next, ideas were delineated by fables and stories that were hardly more than a tweet. Then came novels, treatises and tomes. Now, each idea is quietly being hyper-linked to billions of other ideas in uncountable contexts.

In the past, these were six degrees in the social network of space and time (update: 4 if you believe the world of digital networks and this report). Now, there is really just one link separating any two people: net access.

World was round. Then the world went flat. It is now inverted.

For you who are viewing this, survival is a given, inquiry is indexed and sophistication is in deciding when, where and how to make your next digital footprint.

You are a producer of one, potentially trading with the entire world. But you aren't trading money, ideas or information…