I'll confess. It's becoming obvious that I am on a bit of a kick lately. Call it a chip on my shoulder. Call it an awakening of sorts. Call it restless and maybe a touch of the winter blues. But I'm finding that when I sit down to craft my latest prose for this blog, I'm compelled to try and reach through my monitor and touch the person on the other side. Not just because I'm itching for a little more human interaction these long winter days, but because everything revolves about customer service. Business. Life. Politics. The economy. Even the Olympics.
I guess what I am trying to say is that people are people, stupid.
Which is something I've been mindful of lately - both online and in real life - but it's something that I'm struggling with, too. Nicole Eggert said it best during a late night Celebrity Fit Club last night (insomnia) when she held up a tabloid magazine and pointed to a photo of her that was more than unflattering. It was humiliating. It was a terrible picture that made her look like a monster but the fact is, she is pretty darn pretty. So it touched me when she fought not to cry when she said that she had come to expect this type of treatment from family members and people close to her, but now she was being hurt by people she didn't know and people that didn't know her. Which is a rather ironic statement if you examine exactly what upset her: the fact that we expect intimate interactions from people who know us and from people we know, but we are slammed to tears by reality when someone comments on our perceived persona, not our known imperfections...especially when it's someone we didn't invite into our circle of trust. What's the difference though, really? The key to examining this issue is in understanding that everything is about personal interactions. No matter how disconnected - or connected - we may think we are. We are still people who interact on personal levels. Might as well embrace it. What's so wrong about being personal, anyway?!?! It's a people-driven economy, stupid.
Amber Naslund aka @AmberCadabra (also the Director of Community for Radian6 social media monitoring) recently vented similar feelings during a web teleconference promoting the upcoming SOBCon2010. It's a conference that will take place in Chicago and boasts itself as, "the think tank of the social web, where the best minds in the Internet space gather to present models, discuss insights, and determine best practices." And the great thing about AmberCadabra is her prolific ability to remain pragmatic in her approach to all things that have to do with using social media. Simply put, she seems to believe that it's not the tool...it's people who make and keep things from happening. I tend to agree with Amber even though I've never met her.
Chris Garrett, authority blogger on blogging and lots more says it too in one of his latest posts when he asks his own audience, "Do you dare put down the mask?" To which his respondents provide a litany of reasons why it's so important to be human first, then whatever else it is you are, next. Commenter Simon said, "Humans are cool, so keep being human." I agree with both Chris and Simon even though I've never met them either.
We are stupid, but we are cool. I can live with that.