There is a lot of talk about how the internet and social media have contributed to the loss of things being ‘Personal’. For those of us who have been around long enough, it gives us a nice excuse to reminisce about the ‘good old days’ when we actually wrote letters, and the like.
I disagree. Vehemently.
Let’s consider the following 5 examples –
– A customer today doesn’t look at a ‘corporation’ as a large black-box in a world disconnected from his/her. These corporations have Facebook pages and Twitter accounts where his/her opinions will be listened to, and acted upon. Least of all, they would be heard and replied to.
A corporation that doesn’t is in for a lot of bad press.
– When I looked at my inbox today, I saw a flurry of personal emails. Thanks to communication being made so easy and fast, I can share my life with more close friends and family than was ever possible. Moreover, we can share our lives with each other more often than was ever possible, irrespective of distance.
– 2 days ago, I met with a school friend with whom I hadn’t met for around 6 years thanks to Facebook. We caught up over a game of football in a ‘far away land’ – all thanks to a status update I noticed from him that said he was in London.
– People are connected with their movie idols, sports stars over twitter more than ever before
– Skype and video calling has enabled more long distance relationships than ever before
Yes, that doesn’t take away the fact that we all have more friends on Facebook than we can count or that we have random twitter followers who aren’t even interested in what we say.
But, since when have things been perfect?
The world has never been as personal as it is today. Thanks to Email, Facebook, Twitter, Blogs and the like, we can stay in closer touch than was ever possible, with more people that was ever imagined.
It’s a choice, of course. You have to choose to take time to write those personal emails, to write those Facebook messages and to stay in touch.
As I write this, I am reminded of the Eckhart Tolle quote..
‘In this world, things are getting worse and better at the same time, although the worse is more apparent because it makes so much ‘noise”
Things are getting better. Of course, while complaining about how technology has made the world less personal is one choice, leveraging it to build stronger, deeper relationships is the other.
The media wants you to believe the former is true.
I just hope you consciously pick one over the other.