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Let’s Blog off: Social media – global opportunity or the death of human interaction? Speak for yourself!


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.

  • http://blog.sls-construction.com Sean @ SLS Construction

    Have a safe trip and enjoy… Sorry no disagreements from me on this one, there is always going to be good and bad, it’s just how one harnesses it.

  • http://www.lancotf.com Amy Good

    Great post! Yes, we need everything in moderation and remember to be wise in using. Social media is an excellent tool for linking people together, indeed!

  • http://www.dogwalkblog.com DogWalkBlog

    I think the confusion with the media, parents, “leaders”, etc who scream that social media is destroying human connections is that social media exists as an extension of our relationships, not as a replacement of them. They confuse virtual reality worlds with social media spaces simply because the same tools, i.e., computers, iPads, etc are used. On the surface, it looks like we are avoiding human interaction with social media tools when we are actually using them to extend our reach exponentially… to real people, not virtual avatars.

    Have fun at the festival!

  • http://roamingbydesign.com Saxon Henry

    I completely agree that our “web” of social media connections accentuates rather than replaces our “in the world” connections. I am grateful to count you guys among my new cadre of friends and I have a feeling we will all become not just virtual friends but “real world” friends in the future….

  • http://www.modecor.ca Maureen Coates

    If you had asked me 4 months ago what i thought of social media…..I would not have known or cared what you were taking about. Four months ago, I was introduced through my local decorating friends to a tweetup….WHAT! The next day I spent 51/2 hrs tweeting to people i had never met. I am following and being followed. I have read the most enlightening, funny and informative tweets and blogs….MODENUS included….I am sooooo inspired that I am preparing to launch my own blog. My one year old business is now on the map…my company name MODECOR has been circulated….I am information gathering every day now in order to keep myself and clients informed.
    I watch very little mind numbing TV any more….(I do have a few favourite shows that are sometimes tweeted about)….instead I am laughing ( sometimes crying) at tweets and blogs, written by people just like you and me who are as… if not more talented than professionals actors. I do have to be mindful of the time spent in front of the screen….but that is MY problem to solve….moderation in All things.

  • http://www.originalgreen.org Steve Mouzon

    I agree entirely, and the Original Green story is very similar in that it would not be what it now is without several elements of social media. You use the term “curated,” which I like and am seeing more use of recently. It’s not just “filtered” for you, but rather “curated” for you. Implies a higher standard.

  • Anonymous

    I totally agree, and green the original story is very similar in that it would not be what it is today without more elements of social media. We use the term “organization”, what I like and I see more use lately. It’s not just “filtered” by you, but “arranged” for you. Implies a higher level.
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