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The Next Bubble: Social Networks

As Jimmy Buffett sings in his infamous song, Son of a son of a sailor, I am neither a jailer, lawyer or a banker.

Growing up in retail, I never developed a need to belong to a social network (SN). Further, I got married young, had kids young and working six days a week, I didn't have any time for frivolous stuff. My social network in my 20's included the few friends from high school and college I kept in touch with.

My friends on the other hand who turned into jailers, lawyers and bankers needed social networks to gain business. Golf, sporting events, concerts and the such were perfect for gaining acceptance. 

Today it doesn't matter what your profession is and it doesn't matter even if you work. People in their 20's have hundreds and even thousands of "friends" on Facebook and other platforms. Business professionals are swarming to LinkedIn where you can learn just about anything and everything about anyone.

Every day I get invited to join someone's SN. These invitations are from people I know but perhaps the last time we spoke was a month, year or decade ago. It used to be one had friends and acquaintances. Today, one has SN friends and the more, the better.

Like the chain letters of the past that assured riches if you passed them on to ten others, I'm not quite sure what the benefit is to belonging to a SN. Sure I've read about finding jobs, opportunities or getting feedback. But really, how much do you really want others to know about you?

Facebook is facing a huge lawsuit because it decided to list its members purchases made online. For instance, if you bought a diamond ring from Blue Nile, Facebook would let the world know that. How about that for keeping it a surprise from your girlfriend! Facebook members revolted and Facebook shut down the feature but still has to deal with the ramifications.

Let's face it: we are all predictable. People follow the same pattern day-after-day and it's the nuances that get us in trouble--Michael Phelps knows this better than anyone. SN's thrive on nuances.

Sorry, I'm not going to join your group when invited. However if you want to chat, I know how to use email quite well.  

Happy Tuesday!


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