Musings on mind boggling social media

twitterToday a friend of mine told me that not replying an email from a boss within three minutes is considered under-performance in her industry. This is probably more acceptable since she is in banking. No wait, I don’t think so. The world is changing too fast, and users are adapting to the digital world or culture in a bad way, often to serve their own interests.

I am quite receptive to traditional and social media in work and personal life, including email, Facebook, Twitter, blogging. In fact I have done lots of website copywriting and online articles for clients simply because of the overwhelming market demand for it at the moment. There are healthy benefits from these. My blog is a handy writing space that I can always go to, and knowing that there are people who are truly interested in reading quality articles online helps.

Twitter in a way replaces the function of a social event. In the past, people go to social events to get plugged into a certain network, of mutual personal or business interest. Nowadays, all you need to do is to go to Twitter to search for the interest circle that you are after, and you will probably find some.

Like it or not, Twitter and our million exchanges on various social media platforms are, in a real sense of the word, history. They record what people feel or think, or claim they feel or think. No wonder the Library of Congress is planning to archive everyone’s twitter history.

I saw in Creative Review (June issue) a cartoon strip featuring two office workers typing away from their desks. One asks to borrow a pencil, the other says how funny, do you mind if I twitter it? I have similar experiences of being in an office setting sometimes listening to the tapping sound of keyboards and wondering why most jobs have now become so similar: despite the different sectors and roles, one inevitably spends a huge chunk of his/her time in front of a computer, replying emails, sending out e-copies, creating Word documents and spreadsheets. Sometimes I start to envy those few who are free from this prototype, say the bartender mixing the cocktails, or air stewardesses handing out blankets and headsets.

Above all, what I am most guilty about is the way we seemed to have left some people behind by endorsing this digital phenomenon, or revolution as some may call it. It is true that most cities are now investing in resources to ensure IT accessibility. But as things stand, there is something almost unethical about excluding people from information, goods, services and benefits simply because they lack the skill or interest to get plugged in to this virtual reality. Think of all those friends and contacts you have not invited to an event simply because they are not on Facebook. Remember how you are always prompted to check out a product or company’s website as if this is the most natural and necessary step towards understanding. Have you seen the way your kids would rush to the computers to upload their latest travel photos on blogs or social websites as soon as they return home from a trip? Since when did the newspapers like the Guardian or Daily Telegraph put in a Technology or Twitter section?

The new movie on Facebook, The Social Network written by Anna Sorkin and directed by David Fincher, is likely to cause a stir and revive the debate on the use of technology or social media. What is your stand?