Don’t pull the plug!

For the past two going on 3 days I’ve felt something was missing and that’s because something is, I‘ve been without my trusty iPhone for the past 48 hours and it’s not a fun feeling. What I’ve learned from this is how plugged in we are and how powerful mobile is, at the moment my social interactions are limited. If I’m on the go I cannot interact with anyone between points A & B. No phone calls, emails, tweets and I can forget about using any location-based GPS apps like Foursquare! I’ll probably lose mayorship’s because of this mishap?!

I thought in the spirit of research for all you designers I would like to ask that others experiment with the idea of not being “plugged in”. Put your mobile phone away and try to resist using it for the rest of the week. I guarantee you that you will feel a sense of disconnect and will experience uneasiness. You really do not realize how addicting mobile can be until something like this happens.

I’m quite confident that I will reunite with my iPhone and feel a sense of wholeness once again, but until that happens I must say that it sucks plain and simple! I probably used it so much that my phone needed a well-deserved vacation and decided to get up and go. So iPhone until we meet again I bid you a fond farewell!

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The Friendship Effect

The Age of Social

It recently occurred to me today during my morning commute that we all posses the most powerful social media platform, it’s not an app located on our mobile phones or tablets that needs to download. This powerful platform I speak of is friendship real friendships that live outside of the digital landscape.

As I look back on the past year (2011) at how many new friendships I’ve gained through social media it’s pretty awesome to say the least. Social platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram & Foursquare among others tend to initiate or strengthen these relationships which continue to foster outside of the space. But I think it’s important to note that as good as we can be navigating the new pretty interface of the next app, gaining followers & sharing content, we have to continue to practice our skills of communication when we are unplugged. Don’t be mistaken being social offline is just as much a skill as it is to be in the digital space maybe more so.

Carry on the conversation

You might be surprised to find out what you’ll learn in a f2f meet and greet. All of the little subtleties that articulate when carrying on a conversation, funny, charming, serious etc… These things you cannot experience when tweeting or leaving a wall post. I was fortunate I gained my social skills from playing in a band, touring around the world and going to clubs and that carried over into the social media world.

I’ve met some smart cool people that I’ve learned from because of social media. Social Media was the first initial connection, but when you really break it down it’s intended to be a tool to stay connected. In addition it’s better not to limit social interactions solely to the online space. So while it might be cool to have tons of friends online be sure to strengthen those relationships offline as well because these skills will not only carry over when talking about friendships but also career wise as well when interviewing for that next awesome gig.