A passionate argument can be made either way.
A big smile breaks out on my face as I toast with the first round of Painkillers. Yet another day sitting in the sand in front of The Soggy Dollar on White Bay in Jost van Dyke. What could be more perfect? A classic island cocktail, sand in my board shorts, sunburn on my neck, surrounded by friends and loved ones, looking at a fleet of sailboats gently rolling on translucent water.
That’s Tortola to my left, St. John in front of me and St. Thomas to my right. Awesome! If I can see St. Thomas I can pick up AT&T 3G on my iPhone. That means I can check Facebook, check-in on Foursquare and Tweet to all my friends and followers how awesome this day is. I’ll even take a picture which will be fired around the world within moments.
What is wrong with this picture?
With the recent public launch of Google+, the upgrades (or downgrades depending on your perspective) to Facebook and the continuing social media crush that our society is experiencing I thought it would be good to pose this question to you. And to myself for that matter.
The argument could be made passionately that one should, “Be Here, Now.” Why would someone want to be checking Facebook when they are surrounded by paradise and fun people? I can get onboard with this point of view.
The counter argument is you want to share the moment with as many friends as possible. Is this simply rubbing it in to all your friends or showing off? Or is it really sharing. That, I suppose, depends on who you are and your personality. For me, it’s sharing.
Other arguments for and against social media focus on the point that one should make friends with those people physically around you, versus through a computer or smartphone screen. I think this one is a age and generational argument. The older one is, the more likely they will feel this way.
You are a unique person insofar as your hobbies, likes, dislikes etc. Just like me. Depending on the size of your city, town or village the number of similar minded people around you may severely limit your ability to find and make friends (real meaningful friends).
Last week I was in Key West with a dozen friends that I have made in the past six months, all online. Every one of them were fun to be around. My new buddy Shawn and I had never met face to face but we all stayed in the same apartment and got along famously. I wasn’t surprised because I knew he shared a similar value system as myself. The same can be said about Mike and Rebecca from Zero to Cruising. They invited me to stay on their sailboat for week in Grenada. We knew each other from Facebook, Blogs, e-Mails. That’s it. Again, the week couldn’t have gone more smoothly.
Generally, I would prefer to keep my iPhone in my pocket and to stop checking all my social media accounts on my laptop when I’m home. The upside of the effort, however can’t be ignored. I’m even a top 10 finalist for a Rumologist job with Tommy Bahama Group because of social media. What’s not to like about that?
Am I cautious about my privacy and mindful of the not so good people online? Of course I am. That said, I’m a converted fan to social media. My only gripe is that I have to check so many different accounts. I wish someone would program a solution where I could do it all from one spot. If you are out there and reading this, I’ll buy you a special bottle of rum if you’d do that for me.
I’m really interested in your thoughts and comments on this topic. Drop a note below, I promise to respond. Or hit me on facebook (any of 3 accounts), google+, twitter (either of my 2 accounts).