I spent last week offline in Puerto Vallarta Mexico and realized that my world is very small.
Nobody was Twittering about the sun or the timeshare presentations. I had no IM, no email and no iPhone.
And I loved it.
Our world is expanding thanks to these tools, but there is so much of it we miss by chasing each other from social networking tool to social networking tool. The Web is going to change the world. But I think it’s going to change it in a way we don’t expect.
The world is actually going to get bigger because of our self-created isolation that these “social” networks strive for. Instead of going to see my good friend who is about to have a new baby, I sent him a message on MySpace. Instead of getting some friends together to watch the recent NFL draft, I went into a chat room.
We’re slowly eliminating human and social interaction from our lives by adding what we’re being told is being social. As our online presence continues to evolve and our Pownce/FriendFeed/SocialThing/Facebook/LinkedIn selves continue to spiral around the concentric circles, we are actually going to create a smaller world around us.
What it means
I’m not quite sure what’s going to happen in the next 10 years. There’s a lot of room for new technologies to bring us together. There’s a lot of room for technologies that bring niche communities together around a common theme. Unfortunately, that’s going to create a social world that is heavily divided within numerous microcultures.
I think that the social networking sites are innovative. I love Twitter and reading about the dynamic experiences of others. But I think that the future of these applications are in the enterprise. If somebody can figure out how to put Twitter to work or figure out how to increase productivity with these tools, a lot of people will make a lot of money.
I could be totally wrong, too. Or you can prove me wrong. Go introduce yourself to the person next to you and show me that our society isn’t going backward.