• Conversations, Not Technology, is the Real Social Media

    Recently I watched Sherry Turkle’s TED presentation “Connected, but alone?” It got me thinking about how as professional communicators we are expecting more from technology and much less from each other. This “new kind of connection” as Turkle puts it is not one we should be proud of; rather, it’s something that should worry us.

    One 18-year-old boy she recently interviewed wistfully said to her, “Someday, someday, but certainly not now, I’d like to learn how to have a conversation.” WOW! This is just sad and is not good for our profession.

    The art of true conversations with the give and take, the half-baked comments and the real person-to-person connections is what makes us human. It is also what makes the marketing and PR industry both exciting and important.

    Turkle, a professor in the Program in Science, Technology and Society at MIT and the founder and director of the MIT Initiative on Technology and Self, gave me pause to think about how we use technology to communicate or to avoid real communications.

    If you sleep with your smartphone, prefer to be with your iPad than with a friend, or favor emails over conversations with colleagues, you need to find 19 minutes and 48 seconds to see what Turkle has to say.  In fact, I think anyone that is paid to communicate professionally should see this presentation.

    It just might cause you to rethink a few things. At the very least, I hope it will give you something to talk about, with maybe a coworker over coffee in the break room.

    Mike Neumeier is Principal at Arketi Group. Arketi Group is a public relations and digital marketing firm that helps business-to-business technology organizations accelerate growth through intelligent strategy, public relations, messaging, branding and demand generation.

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    Conversations, Not Technology, is the Real Social Media , 4.5 out of 5 based on 2 ratings
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