Disclaimer: Don't get me wrong. Social media is amazing. I love it and respect those who've harnessed its power.
When you meet a high-level blogger, Tweeter, FBer, etc., can you see the stars in their eyes? They've tasted the drug of celebrity. Addiction levels are off the charts. Visions of speeches at conferences, their books sold at the back as the audience exits. Webinars, Amazon orders & profits rolling in. Attorney level consulting fees and the joy of the freebies. It's a heady rush.
When Seth Godin spoke in Salt Lake several years ago, an audience member cried out, "we want to be like you!" For some reason...that made me sad. It seemed to bother him a bit, too.
The slice and dice of once powerful media into cell sized morsels has brought power to the people. May we use it wisely.
Can this be sustained? Some questions I'd like you to ponder with me.
- If we can all get our 15 minutes of fame, who will be our audience?
- If we each publish our own newspaper, blog, have our own TV & radio (podcast, YouTube) outlets, how many followers can we attract before the excitement levels drop? How much information can one human consume in a day, let alone generate?
- And now that we have all written and published a book (or plan to), who will read it? What profit, if any, will we see as our copy joins the thousands of advice books outdated within mere months?
Online activity resembles a blur of swarming bees, all buzzing around each other, all frantically trying to give each other attention....and asking the same in return. Pedestrians, drivers, people on dates, kids at the dinner table...eyes locked on mini-screens as their latest Google alert, Alexa rank, and online analytics confirm their new star status.
So it has come to this. A country that strives to be so respectful of individual rights is now packed with citizen celebs. In the anxious grab for audience...any audience...whatever audience is out there, to what lengths will people go? Balloon boys? Crashing presidential dinners?