Social media is all fine and dandy within the confines of the internet, but have you ever considered what it would be like if the virtual reality of social networks like Twitter or Facebook were applied to your everyday life?
For example, let’s say that you’re having a barbecue in your backyard and many of your friends are over. You’re all having a great time, eating good food, and maybe even having a beer or two. Let’s just call this backyard event you’re having “Twitter” (or “Facebook” if you prefer).
During this barbecue you find yourself talking with a small group of friends, which is nothing out of the ordinary. One of your friends receives a phone call, and pulls their iPhone out of their pocket to answer it. If social media was a reflection of real life, you could expect to see some stranger popping their head over your fence and shouting to everyone that they know where you can get a free iPhone 4.
Later on, while you’re still enjoying time with your friends, someone gets the bright idea of inviting someone new over. Let’s call this person “Affordable Shoes”. “Affordable Shoes” doesn’t really care much about your previous conversation, but they are quick to tell everyone in your group about a blowout sale they’re having this weekend.
“Affordable Shoes” isn’t known by most of your friends. In fact, the only connection “Affordable Shoes” has with your group is that one of your friends likes to wear their products, so they invited them to the party. They can really only be considered a friend-of-a-friend.
The Retweeting Egotist
Shortly after your encounter with Mr. Shoes, you hear one of your friends shouting from across the yard. Apparently someone whispered something complimentary to your friend, and your friend thought it would be a good idea not to keep this to himself, but to let everyone know that someone thinks they’re awesome.
You’re heading to the kitchen to grab some more potato salad when someone brushes by you. You briefly glance at them and have to take a second look to soak in what you just saw. This person has an 8×10 photo of their baby taped to their face!
At first you’re a little taken back, then you realize it’s your friend from college who had a baby 2 years ago. You also remember that ever since she had that baby she started taping those photos to her face, changing them every week with an updated image. Strange, yes, but then you realize she’s not your only friend that does that.
While you’re thinking your barbecue can’t possibly get any more bizarre, it does. You see a friend of yours quickly approaching you, and you notice that his skin is pale and his eyes are sunken into his face. When he comes to you he quickly tells you that you should go online and see this “funny picture someone posted of you”. Immediately after telling you this, he rushes over to the next person and tells them the same thing.
You tell your zombie friend that he should get checked out, and a day or two later he is back to normal.
Is This Reality?
If you were to attend a barbecue with your friends and all of the above happened, what would you think? That the world has gone crazy? That you should schedule a CAT scan?
Well, guess what? This is what Twitter and Facebook call “everyday”.