A few months ago while appearing on Good Day New York – the anchor, Greg Kellyturned to me and said (I’m paraphrasing) “Big Brother isn’t what we thought it would be, it’s YOU.”
Greg made this comment because I admitted on air that I use social media to monitor the activity of those associated with my company Silverback Social. We were doing a piece on Human Resources, but the sentiment struck me this morning when I read the headlines about Prince Harry‘s gallivanting at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. It struck me because I think that Greg was right: we’re looking in the wrong place for the Orwellian all knowing, omnipotent overlord. That by virtue of the power of our mobile devises, and social networking there is virtually no privacy anymore. We are Big Brother. We’re the ones monitoring each other 24/7. In this all knowing, all seeing TMZ world we live in – we’re the tipsters. We provide the photos, the dish and the “insider” details.
Another recent phenomenon of rampant over sharing has been the Tumblr blog titled Rich Kids of Instagram
The Tumblr blog sprung to life on July 13 and was an instant hit. It is a collection of photos found on Instagram that capture young wealthy people enjoying a life of minimally employed opulence: (source: CNN)
In my book I put forth my manifesto that social media is much more of a spiritual awakening than a technological one. I still believe this, and would argue that the Internet can help to bring us closer as human beings. I cite political uprisings in the middle east, and my own personal journey with this very blog, but perhaps I’ve been too idealistic in my views? Is this all just too much, or in five years will we look back and giggle at how we were all concerned about privacy and over sharing because we’ll all be in a different place? Can it all become too much? When do we draw the line? Or is this just the natural progression toward our fully transparent future?
When Michael Phelpswas photographed in 2009 with a cellphone
camera smoking weed – the world was up in arms. But it seems like Prince Harry was just doing what most kids his age do in Las Vegas, and that society – while a bit shocked by the photos and video aren’t really condemning him for being a young man. Maybe they’re like me and think he may be the coolest royal ever – but that’s besides the point. Even with Michael’s fellow Olympian Ryan Lochte being photographed right beside the naked Prince, nobody seems all too phased. They’re young, wealthy and celebrating. Are we becoming more understanding of incidents like this, or is it that we’re just so used to our every move in life being documented by our mobile devises that we’re fully unfazed? I’m not sure.
In my book I also reference the book The Truth Machine by James Halprin. Here’s a quote from the book:
The Truth Machine by James Halprin (in development to be a major motion picture) was recommended to me over ten years ago. In the book, Halprin imagined a time where an infallible lie detector is invented. At first it’s implemented on boarders, and used as a law enforcement tool. Gradually it becomes integrated into our everyday lives. As a result, students can’t cheat, corporations, and politicians can’t lie. We inevitably get smarter. We’re forced to actually learn what we study. Our relationships become stronger (bound by truth). Companies improve. There are no short cuts; there are no back room dealings. All impropriety becomes impossible because of the truth machine. The first generation that encounters this machine does so with trepidation. They malign the Truth Machine as unnatural, and ineffective. However, as generations pass, people begin to acclimate and evolve; becoming better as a result. The new generation, doesn’t know any different. All they know is a world with the truth machine. Truth permeates society. Social media is a non-fictional truth machine. If you don’t embrace the seismic shift that social media has created, you’ll be left for dead. There’s new generation who have grown up with this technology. Social media doesn’t scare them because they don’t know any different. They’re thrilled to interact, collaborate, and be transparent because they have nothing to hide. They’re used to interacting this way. They want to get better, create, and be useful.
So maybe all of these crazy stories are just our society turning a corner? Maybe we’re all driving toward a new truth. The more that’s shared, the less likely it is that Prince Harry’s handlers can white wash his activities. We an expeditiously call BS, and just point to our iPhone photos. I hope this is a good thing. What do you think?
Too much information, or too little discretion from his friends who should have know that “what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.”