In the past week social media has been featured in virtually every corner of our contemporary culture.  I have seen it in:
a. Time Magazine. Cover story about Facebook.
b. The Sacramento Bee has run two articles in two days about social media.
c. On television, Criminal Minds (Social Networking Killer) featured an “unsub” who stalked his prey using social media, while the ultimate episode of Law & Order pivoted around the felonious use of a blog.
d.  Finally, even Rat in Stephan Pastis’ popular comic strip Pearls Before Swine has discovered social media.

To be sure not all social media cultural references are positive.  In deed, many of them are particularly negative or derogatory.  An obvious example is Dr. Reed’s (Criminal Minds)  derisive bewilderment that many Facebook users have “friends” who are unknown to them!

Despite the seamy downside (or perhaps because of it) social media has permeated every aspect of modern life.   Two simple, albeit trivial, examples are:
1. My iPhone Facebook app receives status updates in the middle of the night.  It’s true I have friends in other time zones, but they are not the nocturnal “updaters”.  I now have my phone muted virtually all the time.
2. One of our clients recently took the step of blocking Facebook on company computers because the staff could not be relied upon to discern the appropriate time to check their pages.

I also read an article recently which suggested there is a growing backlash against social media, especially Facebook.  But as the platform approaches its 500 millionth user it is difficult to imagine social media abstention is a serious threat. One of my most sedulous friends recently told me she wouldn’t know what to do with herself if she quit Facebook!

Just log on to You Tube and search “Facebook in real life” and you will find hundreds of  parodies, commentaries and video blogs about the impact of social media.  One of my favorites is actually called “Facebook in Real Life”.  We even use it as a teaching tool in our Social Networking workshops.  Take a look, it’s worth 3 minutes of your life!

I suppose this all simply proves the old adage that there is NO such thing as bad advertising!

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