There are lots of reasons to be opposed to Social Media or really even just the increased time many of us spend in virtual worlds. Maybe we should close the lid on the laptop, go outside, play with our kids or dogs or friends or, oh alright, our spouses. Maybe we should make our kids aware that the personalities of the people they meet in virtual environments are usually 50% who they really are and 50% of them projecting into them. And maybe, those of us who meet potential partners online should realize that before anything else, before even common interests, like walks on beaches in the moonlight, and a shared sense of humour, there is still that little pheromone driven thing called chemistry, and that one, so far, hasn’t been mastered by even the most cunning of social media giants.
There, this was my feeble attempt at cautioning against social media and you may even think that I’m against it altogether. Well, think again. As with most other potentially harmful substances, the use is at the discretion of the user. Social Media is a very powerful communication form and much of the world can no longer turn without it. Meeting like minded individuals and learning about new resources, ideas and technologies has become a global thing. We need it to be competitive. Our immediate geographic areas have become to small to be able to find what’s right for us in the way of new business opportunities or new human connections. We’ve become used to the fact that we now have the ability to look for what we want, wherever we want and social media platforms play a key role in that, which of course is why they’re so popular.
Opponents, and I do hope there will be a few today who will take the time to comment on some of the posts that will be part of this week’s “Let’s Blog Off” will likely tell me to “speak for myself” and that is exactly what I will do. What follows is a shameless attempt at self promotion, don’t say I didn’t warn you.
Without social media sites I would never have met the talented web developers and mass communication experts that were so important in developing the platform that sits behind Modenus. Without social media sites, Twitter in particular, I would never have been able to promote the site and find so many generous people within the design and design blogger communities that were willing to comment and critique, in order for Modenus to continue developing into a platform from which they all will hopefully be able to benefit.
The idea behind Modenus always has been to provide a curated collection of global resources so that design professionals have alternatives to local sources, as well as a platform for a global network of peers and even potential clients. Business is great if it happens in our own backyard, but I don’t think it should necessarily be limited to that. Matching consumers with design pros on a global level and offering new ways to locate and manage resources in order to work more profitably and maybe even more creatively, in an effort to enrich the industry and to create a new dynamic in an industry that has certainly taken a hit in the recent past.
Modenus and sites like it, do not take on the role of the one and only solution. It’s a platform, a platform created for the people that see the benefit in using it and who know they can make it fit their specific requirements. Modenus does not compete against a week at a great trade show or a day perusing antiques markets. Designers and consumers should go out and touch and feel beautiful products and then know they can bring these products back to this platform to manage and share with others.
And finally the big question: Does social media suffocate or stifle human relations. My answer is: NO! They encourage, they open doors and allow access to various social levels that would otherwise remain closed as all too often social restrictions are what keep us from interacting with the humans behind the image or position. I would never want to have missed the opportunity of having met the most inspiring, talented people that I’ve met on Twitter and quite frequently and as a natural continuation of the process, in person.
Social media has become part of our daily lives and it’s here to stay. It’s up to us to harness it and use it to our benefit. And now, I will close the lid on the laptop and take the train to London’s Design Festival to meet many, if not all, of the british manufacturers that have recently listed on Modenus, in person and spend a week touching and feeling and being inspired by stunning products. The laptop stays at home but thankfully there’s always an IPad close at hand.
Please join us on this week’s “Let’s Blog Off” tour by reading and commenting on a few more posts on the topic. A list of participants can be found here.