This morning I gave a presentation to a local community organization, the group consisted
Skype-Call (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
of people of all age groups, backgrounds and business orientations. The topic was what I always talk about anymore,Social Media. I went through my presentation and could see some faces smiling, some looking confused, and some kinda lost, pretty much the usual. What stuck me most was a retired couple that approached me afterward. While the gentleman was excitedly telling me about the technology that was available in “his day”, the wife immediately said, “wow, you scared the heck out me!” She was serious, very serious! It was, in the end a perfect ice breaker to the start of a wonderful conversation about the breakneck speed at which SoMe is changing. That woman’s fear became very apparent to me when I was discussing how they might want to try and use Skype to keep up with kids and grandkids, while the husband was intrigued, the wife immediately dismissed it, for no real reason other then the fear of the technology. I have given many presentations about SoMe and have encountered many folks who displayed an uneasy feeling towards where and how the world of communication is evolving, but I was not prepared for this woman’s out and out fear.
During one part of my presentation I tell a story about a conversation that I had a while
Foursquare (Photo credit: Sean MacEntee)
back with a Sci Fi author friend of mine, Thaddeus Howze. Thaddeus and I often discuss where SoMe is headed, and it’s relationship to what we as children remember as Sci Fi. Recently we discussed the advent of Social Discovery, a direction that SoMe is taking combining sites like coupon sites such as Groupon with Geo location sites likeFoursquare, as well as the ability of apps like Google walletinteracting with our purchase information, and where we physically are or might be headed. It works along these lines, say you are in the vicinity of a McDonalds and your phone knows that you buy a weekly 2 cheeseburger meal deal. A message pops up on your smartphone and asks if you are interested in purchasing a meal deal at the upcoming McD’s. You hit “Yes“, the money comes out of your account, the McD’s is sent the order, you just drive thru and pick it up…simple as that.
I find the concept interesting, and quite “cool” if you will, Thaddeus on the other hand is greatly concerned about the amount of control the devices have on our everyday lives. Not time spent manipulating a particular device mind you, but device control of information. A valid and interesting thought. Machines communicating with machines without any human interaction. An interesting approach that doesn’t necessarily scare me, but it certainly has my attention.
So I ask my question again, is the path that SoMe is so swiftly going down scary to you?