On Dependence of 3rd Party Platforms and Leaving the Grid

We use Gmail to send email. We use Facebook to connect with our past. We use Twitter to let people know what we’re doing right now. Without technology, how would we connect with people? The phone, the written word via snail mail, and or lo and behold… face to face?

What happens if Facebook, Apple,  Twitter, Youtube, Pandora, Verison, Spotify, Evernote, Amazon, Google and Microsoft were to go away? What happens? Life goes on. Case in point, you’re talking to someone on your cell phone and the call is dropped, what do you do? You look at the phone, you may call them back, you may not, you shrug your shoulders and life goes on.

Have you ever thought about how dependent you are on the digital things that make your life go? I know I do. In fact, we often joke about what would happen if some of us were off the grid for any substantial amount of time.Would we  shrivel up like a raisin? Get a case of the DT’s? For some it’s possible, they can hop right off of the grid and shut it down no problem. Digital for those that can’t disconnect, resembles some type of ambient ubiquity which they cannot separate themselves from for any extended period of time-like 2 days.

But what if someone just disconnects

This morning I was looking for someone who I had gotten to know fairly well who essentially created a whole new life for himself  around social media. They created a slipstream niche around how to use social media for SMB’s. They wrote a book, they V-logged, they tweeted over 15,000 times, they created an active Facebook page, and then all of a sudden. No more. The sites are shut down, the social profiles are dormant and the person has just disappeared from the social ecosystem.

Did he die? Did he just decide that social media is so superficial that there has to be something better out there? Did he get a new job that necessitates that he not participate at all in social? I may never know because the only way I ever communicated with him were through 3rd party platforms and social networks. He doesn’t use those anymore. Maybe he wants to reconnect with his family? I don’t know. In a sense, he has gone from one extreme to  the other, and that’s OK. Why? I’m starting to think about the overall value of social as it pertains to our truly personal, social selves and maybe just maybe this person decided that it wasn’t worth it.

It makes you wonder though. What will social look like in 5 years. Is social in and of itself creating its own oxymoron? Where social doesn’t really mean social at all? Maybe there is something to Facebook Fatigue. All I know is that when someone ceases “to be” in social media either a life has ended or…maybe just maybe…life goes on.

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Marc Meyer is a Digital and Social Media Strategist at DRMG. This is my personal blog where I share observations, thoughts and opinions that are all my own.

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