Posts

Social Media: a Tool for Relationships or Merely a Substitute?

As cell phones and social media continue to place themselves at the center of our social lives, we wonder what effect its importance has on the quality of our social life. Is the pressure to answer every tritone and whistle distracting us from meaningful human interaction? Or is maintaining contact with otherwise long-lost friends through Facebook leading to longer-lasting friendships?

Here are some of the arguments for and against social media as presented by The Wall Street Journal:

Social Media is Detrimental to Society:

  • We spend too much time on social media to build real connections: “We spend so much time maintaining superficial connections online that we aren’t dedicating enough time or effort to cultivating deeper real-life relationships.”
  • We are on our phones even when we’re not talking: “Worse, we don’t even need a beep or vibration to distract us anymore. In one study of more than 1,100 teens and adults, my fellow researchers and I found that the vast majority of smartphone users under 35 checked in with their electronic devices many times a day and mostly without receiving an external alert.”
  • Empathy is lost in emoticons: “In one study we found that while empathy can be dispensed in the virtual world, it is only one-sixth as effective in making the recipient feel socially supported compared with empathy proffered in the real world. A hug feels six times more supportive than an emoji.”

Social Media is a Tool We Use to Maintain Relationships:

We’re doing a good job of staying in touch: “Social ties that we once would have abandoned as we left high school, changed jobs and moved from one neighborhood to another now persist online.”

  • Seemingly trivial messages communicate much more than you think: “It is tempting to dismiss as trivial many messages exchanged online. But together, the small sips that come from the steady contact of social media can add up to a big gulp of information about the activities, interests and opinions of the people we connect with. They communicate mutual awareness and closeness along with information that we wouldn’t otherwise receive.”

Are we moving to an ever more interconnected society or one that will soon forget how to interact with one another? Is your social presence going to be more valuable than what you present in person? What is sure is that the way we relate to one another is changing and adapting to the way people now connect will be key to success in your business.

Click here for the full article on The Wall Street Journal

Emerging Web Conglomerates Affect Buying Strategies

Tech Giants

With a steady stream of head-shaking acquisitions, Google, Facebook, and other Internet Giants are speedily transforming themselves into web conglomerates. While this is unquestionably making fortunes for the venture capital industry, it does beg the question whether is can be good news for everybody else.

The giants’ buying sprees have not only created a handful of powerful young millionaires; it has revolutionized the venture capital business model. Outside the tech-bubble, it used to be that someone struggled for years to build a company before it went public. Now the idea is to move into the social media hot-spot by developing a product that the new web conglomerates buy at prices never before seen in private deals.

Consider the following transactions:

  • WhatsApp sold to Facebook for $16 Billion;
  • Instagram sold to Facebook for $1 Billion; and
  • Beats Electronics sold to Apple for $3 Billion.

Would you like a piece of that pie? If you answered in the affirmative (let’s assume that you did), the goal is no longer building a business to compete with these tech giants, but work to be established within their orbit and share in their success.

It will be interesting to observe how this strategy morphs and develops in the years ahead. Click here to view the related article by Steven Davidoff Solomon in the New York Times.