Enhancing human experience and avoiding terrible times
I am a big believer in technology like most of you reading this blog post. I’ve personally benefited from the way in which technology can create entirely new relationships online. The best social media experiences I’ve had are those that lead to actual offline meetups and networking opportunities.
Lets say that you’ve been trading ideas over Twitter or via the blogosphere with a couple of folks over the past year, and finally you get the chance to meet up at a conference for a coffee and exchange ideas/network, etc. How cool is that?
Of course, making the human interaction happen takes some work (in this scenario). You have to reach out to the person first. Assuming they are interested in speaking face to face, you have to make the effort to travel to a conference or be in a city at the same time as the other person. Real effort is required.
Anyway, the paragraphs above highlight the positive side of our hyper connected digital/social age. What does the flip side look like?
Terrible Digital Behavior Leading to Terrible Offline Times?
If we start de-valuing human interaction and continue down the path of anonymous blog comments, video pranks and fragmentary, impersonal communications...we’ll enter “terrible digital times” (some think we are already there). People will start taking their angry, critical, demeaning online behavior offline–leading to more and more signs like the ones you find all over London nowadays.
Enhancing civil human experiences where possible should be a priority
If we use the web and mobile devices to enhance our human connections, extend our networks and improve our relationships (and not forget basic interpersonal manners) we’ll be doing well. If online services & websites/mobile applications encourage (knowingly or unknowingly) derogatory, demeaning and downright angry discourse then will be moving ourselves 1 step closer to terrible, terrible times.