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Social Mania

March 25, 2011

If social media were to one day  completely disappear, if Facebook grew dark and Twitter became desolate, I’ll tell you exactly what I’d do:

I’d breathe an epic sigh of relief.

As a PR major and a member of  “Generation Y,” I have been immersed in social networking nonsense since the fifth grade when I started using AIM to chat at home with my friends after I had seen them all day at school. Since then, there has been an onslaught of websites, photos, new technologies and  grotesque oversharing, to say the least. I. Am. Exhausted.

 

That's me on the left. This is going to be on the internet forever.

Also, scary thought: How long is my facebook going to be around? Am I going to be 40 years old and still tagged in that awkward marching band picture from my junior year of high school?!  Sure, I can untag myself, but I know it will still be there. Lurking in Abby’s photo album. Forever.

Eventually, however, I know I would start to crack. Just thinking about not being able to know everything about everyone, or be able to not check my google reader to read all my blog posts makes me twitch. I guess social networking appeals to the busybody in me.

Sure, businesses might have something to complain about if this were to ever happen. Social networks make it not only easy to connect with their audience on an individual basis, but also necessary.  But I believe something else would pop up in it’s place, something newer and more exciting. That’s the way the world works; something better is always around the corner.

Maybe try being nicer to me once I'm in the actual store, huh?

I think businesses would have to work a lot harder to connect with the audience without using social media. It would be more difficult, but it would make a bigger impact. Companies and organizations would have to go directly to the people and convince them in real life to listen and to believe. They would have to do so without photoshop or groupons or an incessant flood of emails begging you to upgrade to a better rewards card  (I’m looking at YOU, Borders!)

At the end of the day, I guess I just don’t respect Social Media all that much, anymore.  It does some wonderful things like during the Middle East Protests. Even this morning I read an article about Athens police reaching out to a suspected murderer on the run through facebook. It’s still a powerful tool that can do some damage, but in a world with millions of messages directed towards me everyday, its going to take more than social media to make a person take notice.

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