De-Facing Facebook: The coming anti-Social correction.

Originally posted some time in late 2009. Still think it’s going to happen. Guess I’m just a…futurist. – dp (writing 6.30.2011)

It’s inevitable. And for many, it’s going to be painful. I’m talking about what happens when the first wave of Social Networking enthusiasts crashes into the rocks of real.

We’ve already seen the first of its victims. Remember that wack mom who faked her Space and quite possibly led to the suicide of a teenager? That was “woh” number one. And there are more coming. Like the Virginia Republican whose ill-timed tweeting allowed the Democratic party to talk a would be defector out of a party switch. DOH! Burned by ill-understood technology. But that’s what happens when you fling a box of power tools into a kindergarten.

Step One: COOL.
Step Two: Howzit work?
Step Three: 911

ONE COIN/TWO SIDES

Social networking (and I’m lumping all the usual suspects into one big chunk) is fantastic. Incredibly powerful/time wasting. Wonderfully entertaining/annoying. Great bouquet/potentially bitter finish.

Like Girls Gone Wild tapes that lead to years of regret, SocNets are a lifetime’s worth of “that’s not what I meant” waiting to happen. It’s almost here, and we better be ready for it. Coming soon to a theatre near you:

– the Senate confirmation hearing that dives deep into some unlucky nominees Twitter detritus
– the job interview that starts with “Does the screen name ‘drunkboy69’ mean anything to you?”
– the Thanksgiving dinner that erupts with “I never thought a son/daughter of mine would ever ___________ (based on photos your friend’s friend’s friend posted of you doing _________ to a ________).

The old hands among us will pine for the days of strictly anonymous BBS flamewars when it was possible immolate your opponent with an arsenal of ASCII while safely ensconced behind a nearly impossible to track nom de ‘Net. Good times.

Don’t get me wrong. Marketers, you have to embrace this trend, craze, fad or whatever you want to call it. And for y’all regular folks: Face/Tweet/Space yer @$$ off. SocNet is a communications tool of immense utility and power. But never, ever think its incapable of biting that self-same @$$ when you least want/need/expect it.

So while the growth curve for Social Networking is staggering today, it will peak, flatten and eventually mature into a mundane tool that everybody uses for what it’s good at while avoiding what it’s bad at (just like jet travel, feta, merlot, and Jerry Seinfeld). The Wild West always ages into the Mild West.

…sigh…

– dp

PS: Sue, can you take that photo of me off your Facebook page? It’s kinda embarrassing. Thanks.

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