Things Biz Stone Told Me (Part Three)
This is that sandwich effect you always read about. In the first post about Biz Stone’s book, Things a Little Bird Told Me, I gave you something I really liked that I chewed on a bit. In the second post, I gave you something that made my eyes widen in disbelief. And now, in the third post, I once again tell you something interesting I read in the book that made me think.
See, it all amounts to a vote for others to read the book. Especially if you use his site, but even if you don’t. It’s a lot of very happy, very optimistic advice.
On page 211, Stone writes,
For almost a decade now, we’ve been ‘friending,’ ‘following,’ liking,’ and in other ways amassing a prodigious network of virtual connections, but without a long term goal. What’s it all for?
Uh… that’s a good question. What is it for? What is the purpose of social media?
I mean, yes, it connects us, it keeps us in touch, it allows us to disseminate information… but to what end? Where is all of this leading? We’re gathering up all these people to do… what? I mean, is this all it is? Are we just going to be friending and following each other until we’re in our graves?
I guess I never really thought about it until I saw a site comment on Facebook this week that they just needed one more like to hit 500. And I instantly thought, “and then what?” What happens when they hit 500? Does the goal simply reset and now they strive for 1000 likes? And what happens when they hit 1000 likes? When we gather as hunter-gatherers, it’s to feed ourselves, to eat. But social media sometimes feels a little like hoarding. Gathering for gathering’s sake.
On page 218, Stone points readers towards a possible end goal: “The true promise of a connected society is people helping one another.”
I love that idea. I really hope that his vision comes true. On a day like today, September 11th, when the events of history weigh so heavily on our hearts, it’s a nice balloon of hope: that the world could be a better place tomorrow, next week, a few months from now. At the very least, within our lifetime.
What do you think? What is the point of connectivity? Do you think it will ultimately be used to help one another?