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The Human Cost of Social Connectivity

The Human Cost of Social Connectivity

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Published by Brian Solis
Over the years, we’ve learned the importance of social media in our professional and personal lives. It is after all a revolution in of itself. From improving governments to socializing businesses to improving collaboration and learning to investing in personal development, social media is influencing and reshaping all it touches. But there are very real costs associated with social media and they extend well beyond technology, popular networks, trends or monumental events.
Over the years, we’ve learned the importance of social media in our professional and personal lives. It is after all a revolution in of itself. From improving governments to socializing businesses to improving collaboration and learning to investing in personal development, social media is influencing and reshaping all it touches. But there are very real costs associated with social media and they extend well beyond technology, popular networks, trends or monumental events.

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Published by: Brian Solis on Feb 29, 2012
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By Brian Solis, industry-leading blogger at BrianSolis.comand principal of research firm Altimeter Group, Author of the highly acclaimed books on social businessThe End of Businessas Usual and 
The EgyptianRevolutionis a historical event for many reasons, not the least of which is therelentless dedication of human will to overcome tyranny against all odds. For those who study socialnetworks, the revolution is also of course significant because of the role Facebook and Twitter played in the concentration of discontent and the orchestration of upheaval. For the purpose of thisdiscussion, I would like to focus on how Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and other social networkscontinue to demonstrate the revolutionary effects of network densityand continue to escalate thepromise of social connectivity as part of our digital sustenance.Over the years, we’ve learned the importance of social media in our professional and personal lives.It is after all a revolution in of itself. From improvinggovernmentstosocializing businessesto improving collaborationand learningto investing inpersonal development, social media is influencing and reshaping all it touches. But there are very real costs associated with social mediaand they extend well beyond technology, popular networks, trends or monumental events.You are here because you live and breathe new media and with each day that passes, you placeunprecedented value on social and mobile networks and the role they play in your livelihood. Your experiences are incredibly personal, but are also influenced by your connections. The value youglean from each network is directly correlated to the relationships you forge within each network.The content that youcurate,create, and consume dictates the focus and significance of your  interest graphs. The gravity that attracts people and information to youegosystemis essentially yours and
(cc) Brian Solis,www.briansolis.com- Twitter, @briansolis
 
only yours to define. And, that’s the point of this post. We must study the human cost of social mediato improve how it is we adopt and employ it in life, study, and work.Aside from the inherent value of connections, engagement, and information commerce,understanding the human cost tied to social networking will help us focus precious resources toprioritize desired benefits and outcomes.The human cost of social media is something we’re learning as we go and the price we pay for thebenefits of connectivity starts with an exchange of privacy for a new era of publicy, or as Jeff Jarvisrefers to i,t publicness.Privacy as we once knew it is over. The values of privacy are sacred as are the opportunities tied to living in public. Perhaps as valuable and sacred as privacy, we must alsoexplore another human cost of social media…time.We all know very well that activity within social networking can lead to distractions. With one click,we can find ourselves hopelessly lost in a labyrinth of fascinating experiences that have nothing todo with our initial focus. Serendipity is part of the splendor of social media, but it is something thatnecessitates discipline to learn, entertain and be entertained, while also staying the course. In theend, we exchange time and privacy for exposure and attention.In addition to time and privacy, we learn that the human cost of social media is alsoemotion. Weindeed invest a bit of ourselves in each new connection and form of expression we publish. We saya bit about who we are in all we create and share. Our actions and words put the “me “in social media and as time passes we construct a digital persona that reflects a vision of how we seeourselves and how we wish to be seen.As in anything, when we invest emotion, we expend a great deal of energy and passion all for thepromise of reactions, connections, and a sense of significance. And at the end of each day, we’resimply exhausted. Whether we realize it or not, fatigue is an inevitable product of engagement. FromSocial Network Fatigueto DealsFatigue toFollow Fatigue,we are slowly realizing that we are not invincible. We are not without a very tangible perimeter of limitations.
(cc) Brian Solis,www.briansolis.com- Twitter, @briansolis
 
How many networks do you call home? How many social and interest graphs are you shaping? I’msure many of you are at least active in four or more networks including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube,FourSquare, Flickr, or Google Plus.During the beta launch of Google +,I conducted asurveythat asked those new to Google+ if they planned on abandoning their Facebook presences as a result of joining the new network. Theresponse was surprising as I did not expect the number of people who would express social networkfatigue.The reality is that the cost of social networking is great and without checks and balances,engagement can cost us more capital than we have to spend. The net result is then social andemotional bankruptcy. And, the most difficult part of this unfortunate state is that it is at first difficultto recognize and far more exacting to overcome.There’s a saying, “everything in moderation,” but it’s impossible to explore these new horizons withanything less than exuberance. This is our time and who we are online and in the real world is oursto define. But without ambition, desire, and focus, social media is a recipe for chaos. Through all of the distractions and fatigue, we must continually renew our focus to bring important goals to lifebased on our actions and words in each social network.I ask you to pause for a moment. Think about what it is that inspires you. Think about what it is youare trying to achieve. Now, look at what it is you’re doing today and compare these activities andresults to your aspirations. Do this at fixed intervals over time to plot your position and look ahead towhere it is you’re hoping to reach. Then ask yourself, “am I on the right path?” Never stop askingthat question. The answers are more important than you might think.Connect with BrianSolisonTwitter | LinkedIn| Facebook|Google+ |BrianSolisTV  ___ 
The End of Business as Usual:
Rewire the way you work to succeed in the consumer revolution
(cc) Brian Solis,www.briansolis.com- Twitter, @briansolis

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