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    Social Media Makes You Less Human?

    I just finished reading an interesting article in The Guardian titled "Social Networking Under Attack As Tide Of Cyber-scepticism Sweeps US." The premise is that technology, specifically social media, is making us less human.

    Now I am certainly not in a position to debate this premise from a scientific standpoint as I am not trained in sociology; however, I can provide my own personal experience with the use of this medium in my work and personal life.



    Skepticism


    To this day, I still have conversations with social media skeptics. The arguments are of this sort:

    • "It's just a fad"
    • "It's full of narcissists talking about visiting the coffee shop"
    • "Only people who are anti-social take part"
    • "The relationships are not real"
    And so on. All of these are nonsense, with maybe the second bullet point holding true in some cases. I actually welcome these discussions as it is an opportunity to share my passion for the use of social media to build and foster strong personal relationships, both professionally and personally. The last bullet point is so far off the mark that you can't even give them points for cleverness. 

    Skepticism can be healthy, but only if the skepticism is used as a means to gain understanding so good decisions can be made. The end point of skepticism without exploring the actual question at hand leads to cynicism; a vicious circle indeed.

    Journey


    Since I first began my journey (and loving every minute of it!) in social media, I have been steadily increasing my marketing and product development skills. How you say? Easy. From the collective knowledge sharing of my network both virtually and in-person. I am fortunate to have my network and I have worked damned hard to build a trustworthy group of people I can rely on. Another thing I have learned about social media is that it is chock-a-block full of highly skilled individuals graciously sharing their insight. These resources are immeasurable and I value them highly. Along my path I have made mistakes, learned a great deal, and discovered that the relationships that started in the "social world" (ie Twitter, LinkedIN, etc..) really grow to become even stronger after you meet in-person. 

    I am still on my journey and love the road I am on. 

    Less Human?

    So, I keep asking myself how social media is making me and others less human. I don't see it for the predominant amount of users, at least not the people I interact with. It is best to demonstrate this with an actual current situation; The Agchat Foundation. This group, founded by farmers for farmers, is as human as you get. We are fairly new and have already conducted two hands on seminars/workshops, spoke at a 140 Conference, engaged with the ag community and consumer community at the grassroots level, and have really ramped up the overall social engagement. And anyone who is involved in agriculture knows that it is all about relationships. It is the hand shake and honest discourse that matter. And thanks to the social media tools at our disposal, we are able to reach out across geographic boundaries that once were a hindrance and make a personal connection with actual, well you know.....humans!

    I don't know if being connected all the time is changing the way our synapses are firing off in our brain or if it is making it impossible to focus for more than five minutes at a time, but I do know this. I wouldn't trade my experience so far for anything. I have met people that will be friends of mine for a long time.

    So what do you think? Are the folks that are connected actually disconnected? Let us know in the comments.

    Photo Credits
    Surly Amy
    Philipp Klinger

    Regards,

    Nate J. Taylor
    natesuetaylor@gmail.com

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    Agriculture passionado! I lead GeoVantage's Sales, Marketing, and Business Development activities. If you haven't explored the benefit of remote sensing for production agriculture, now is the time! Not one to rest, I am also a part of the Memes Associates team where we focus on assisting large companies in the agriculture space to "re-discover their inner entrepreneur" through the introduction of market disrupting technology(s) and services.  

    Have questions about agriculture and technology in agriculture? Ask away! 


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