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Pronounced “mä-də-ˈrā-shən”

Let’s face it, anyone with an internet connection and a pulse is aware of the profound impact that social media is having on our lives. I feel that traditional media has run its course, having become more of a business than a resource. Besides, with our recent advances in technology, news can travel quicker than ever without the need to wait for 5 o’clock. True, there are those that consider it to be a fad. I’m sure they’re still waiting for this whole internet thing to pass, too. If anything, social media will evolve with us and it’s a good idea to figure it out now.

Where do you fit in here? Thanks, DespairWear!

With that said, I have to admit that I’ve become a bit obsessed with this abundance of information and immediacy. With iGoogle as my home page, with its Tetris-like construction of various RSS feeds I’ve gathered from my travels, I maintain active accounts on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and MySpace – all of which are also accessible by my cell phone.  I increasingly feel tethered; parasitically inseparable from my window to the world.

It even causes issues with my workday; as many can relate to. If you’re tempted to start a farm, crime enterprise, zoo or vampire war on Facebook – while maintaining a full-time job – I advise you to resist. Your plants, pets, prostitutes and various other dependents will need your support throughout the day, which can kill your focus on the real world. It takes serious and thoroughly unnecessary discipline at times to abstain, and often, I fail.

Social media certainly isn’t helping my social life, either. I feel creepy chatting with anyone because I feel like I’m interrupting them. Even a moderate amount of direct contact with anyone online makes me feel like a stalker, so I try to keep a distance. I call it social (media) anxiety. It’s so ironic how, as we break old communication barriers, new ones seem to take shape.

I’m not quite sure what’s next in the evolution of social media, but I know what’s next for me. I’m going to sign off, tuck my daughter in and go over anniversary plans with my wife. Those are a couple forms of communication that I hope we never lose.

Patrick King

Patrick is the Founder of Imagine and advisor to places on brand strategy and creative. His insights have been published in Inc. Magazine, SmartCEO, Washington Business Journal, The Washington Post, and Chief Marketer, among other publications, and shared at conferences throughout the US. He also has an amazing sock collection.


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