Thursday, May 7, 2009
The Digital Age: The age of too many voices
A big debate going around social media circles is the idea of a so-called "social media expert." The common response has been that anyone who calls themselves an "expert" in social media, is in fact, the furthest thing from an expert. This got me thinking about how the increase in people's involvement online has really allowed practically anyone to become an "expert" on any given topic. To me, this is quite frightening.
Like most things, I believe variety is a good thing. Consumers like options and it forces businesses to produce quality products and services. However, with the number of people blogging and getting involved with social media, suddenly your average-Joe has turned into a credible source. One one side, it's great that the Internet has allowed such easy access to a wide array of talent. On the flip side, there are a lot of people out there with a hidden agenda and determining credibility has become a lot more difficult.
As you can see, I'm kind of perplexed with how I feel about this. The digital age has allowed me to form relationships with people I'd otherwise would have never met. From the early stages of instant messaging and online forums to more recent advancements, I've spent quite a bit of time trying to form my online identity. It's almost like my thoughts contradict my actions.
With an abundance of voices also comes the decrease in human interaction. For example, take this post. It's 7:00 p.m. on a Thursday and I'm inside on the Internet. People communicate via text, email, Facebook, etc. Again, my actions contradict my thoughts, but what happened to face-to-face conversations. Besides research, the ability to create and foster relationships is, in my opinion, one of the most overlooked aspects about public relations. I understand that the technological advancements we're experiencing are vital and beneficial; but I just wish more people occasionally went back to the traditional routes of interacting.
Like I mentioned, I love social media. I love being online. I think the Digital Age is one of those things that you're glad it's evolved the way it did, but a small part misses the traditional aspects of communicating. What are your thoughts?
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