So this past week during a social event in Marrakech, I met the charming @Michelle_Adams_ and a — by his own account — photographer, British, living in New York, that drinks tea fellow by the name of Patrick Cline, aka @PatrickCline_.
Within the time constraints of the event – a photo shoot at @PeacockPavilion for @LonnyMag – and during the rare breaks, we exchanged business cards and the traditional social platitudes.
Although it is still some people’s reality today — and this post is really for them,
let us now imagine this encounter happening in a world without the social networks we know today. With good enough reasons, that encounter may be followed up by an email exchange or two. Email, being the reflected and daunting communication medium we know: can’t write too much to stay relevant, must take the time to read to stay polite; this could have gone one of two possible directions:
- a one-way street, where the exchange dwindles and dies
- a mutual spark of interest about photography, interior design or social media; giving way to sustained email communication over time… meeehhh not very likely
The reason for this all or nothing situation, is that we have managed to speed up just about everything in our lives; but despite speed-dates and speed-interviews, there’s still one thing that necessitates time and it is the building of human relationships. Email communication is ill suited for that and wanting to rush any human relationship into strengthening is like wanting to make a cheese soufflé in a microwave.
Fortunately, in today’s world, there’s a third possible direction. @Michelle_Adams_, PatrickCline_ and @FasTake are all using Twitter, Instagram and probably 3 or 4 other networks. What is now available to all is the ability to consume, share, transform, leverage, comment on or choose to ignore without much consequences, each others social updates. Tweet by tweet, picture by picture, bit by bit, on their own terms and schedule.
It is then like stretching and slowing down time. Where you once had the choice between as-it-happens-live-no-rehearsing and reflected-daunting-blow-by-blow communication means; we now have an a-la-carte, always-on, on our terms opportunities to communicate, connect and create new relationships.
The most blatant example of this I’ve seen so far is in the field of education. How Twitter is used in large amphitheaters to all together engage all students even the shiest and open up opportunities for the conversation about the particular course to continue well beyond an hour or two of teacher lecturing. Opportunities also for a new kind of relationships between teachers and students and betweens students themselves.
Did you have SloMo experiences on social networks? Care to share?