I was always crap at Simon Says. I was the kid who could only ever think of three things to have people do – stand up, sit down, run in place – and I’ve learned to mark this down to both an inability to develop internal go-to lists, and a dislike of having to issue mindless rapid-fire commands. Yet as I watch people tweet their lives away sometimes I wonder exactly how useful these skills are in real life? Like learning trigonometry, I had always figured it was something to get good at or avoid, but now I’m not so sure.
Like it or not, Social Media is here to stay. I hope someone comes up with a better, permanent term for what’s going on, because I dislike that buzzword, but there you are. I’m fortuitous to be getting into networking just now, because I have a nearly three year old son, and while considering the things we need to make sure he learns, at the same time I’m watching the foibles of high-powered people online, and seeing a lot of parallel.
One of the many things I dislike about Twitter’s ecosphere is the MLM phenomenon. It sounds like a pyramid scheme on the outside (and runs like one) but the behavior of the people involved, or at least the visible output of the bots, looks an awful lot like Simon Says. Rapid fire information with little available content driving people who are unlucky enough to get sucked in to useless products or a hookup to the scheme. It’s a social failing, but it’s one of those pendulum behaviors – those who understand just enough are exploiting those who don’t yet know.
How many pundit blogs do you read? I don’t specifically mean political pundits, I mean Apple and Google and Microsoft fanboy blogs as well. Notice anything about their habits? Suggesting certain new products, dropping bombs on others. For some reason this always reminds me of Red Light, Green Light.
The less said about Michael Arrington’s apparent tabloidism the better – but the entire leak culture feels like one big game of telephone.
Corporate recruiting feels a bit like Red Rover.
It’s amazing how often this kind of thing happens. Perhaps it’s early training, rearing it’s head on our adult lives. On the other hand, like just about anything, when you know just enough about how these habits form, you can exploit them. And when that gets old, you can become a benefactor and teach others either to exploit the habits, or how to avoid having these habits exploited.
Until you know where your habits come from, and what the tells are, how are you going to ensure you’re not being taken advantage of?
Otherwise, it’s duck-duck goose, and someone’s got their eye on turning you into the next goose.
Photo by Mykl Roventine