Manuel Yanez
Manuel Yanez 14 April 2016

Social Media More Social than Ever

People are more socially involved than ever, if you think personal communication is dying think again and read this!

We are constantly complaining about how the new generation has lost personal contact, blaming everything on Social Media and smart phones.  At first glance it seems to be clear that this is the case. We see people everywhere with their heads down, thumbing away on their movil devices, sending millions of text messages, photos, voice and text messages. Activity on Facebook, Tweeter, Instagram, Pinterest Snapchat is millions upon millions, every minute!

But the truth is that never before at any point in time have we been more or better connected as a world society as we are today. This sounds crazy I know, but keep reading, follow me a bit longer.

The way people are opening trust channels is amazing. In times like the ones we are living right now with terrorist attacks every day in the news this seems unlikely, but people silently and steadily and more importantly peacefully are getting stronger as a society.

Imagine if you will, telling some stranger exactly where are you going and, if he is headed the same way, inviting him to hop into your car and split the costs.  This thing is something that the same people that complain about how uninvolved the new generations are, will never do. It is precisely what is happening all over the world with UBER and Bla bla car.

Now, think about inviting a group of complete strangers, maybe even from another country, to spend a few days at your house, cook in your kitchen, sleep in your room and use your bathroom! I have a couple of very close friends that my parents would never in a million years would let into their personal bathroom. Well it is happening right this minute with Airbnb.

The most amazing thing of all is that this is not a local or small thing it is a global every day occurrence.

Remember some weeks ago, when the terrorist attacks happened in Paris, Airbnb users opened their doors so people near the area. The way to convey this information was through Social Media, off course!  People were letting their families know they were ok, and learning about the Airbnb users offer and uploading photos and writing blogs and tweets and Facebook updates all in real time and all of us all over were learning about all that stuff minute by minute.  Every door that was opened and every person that took cover in this stranger´s houses got too meet each other look into each other´s eyes and shake hands.

There are many other maybe smaller things happening everyday, like Kickstarter where people tell people about what they think is a great idea, and how it is going to be useful and other people that like the idea and would love to have the product or use the service contribute to get it off the ground with their own money! people trusting people.

And the even smaller stuff like never loosing contact with childhood friends, we know where they are and what they do, we know their spouses and kids we send them greeting messages during the Holidays and condolences in sad moments.  We are more present than ever with our friends and family even when they may live miles or Countries away.

We can find clients or companies we would like to work in. We share our CVs, find and offer jobs again: anywhere in the world.

Getting back to Airbnb, there is a story I love.  I man from the US wanted to go to Uruguay he searched and found a great place, a Lovely villa just outside the city.  Upon arrival he started to feel chest pains and had a heart attack. The owners of the villa took him to the hospital and stayed with him all through the healing process, yes this has a happy ending, when the man got out of the hospital they invited him to stay, at no cost, in their home until he was strong enough to travel. They remain friends to this day and keep in touch through Facebook and Instagram. I am sure they will be friends for life.

There are as always awful terrible stories of negative things happening to people using UBER or Airbnb but not more than there are terrifying stories of people staying at a Hilton Hotel or driving in a limousine service.

Every time that disruptive ideas bring new ways to do things nay sayers call it the end of the world. Remember in the 1950´s when television came into our homes.  Old generations and negative people called it the stupid box, they were sure that families were going to be destroyed and that young people would amount to nothing. Nobody was talking to each other and everyone had their faces glued to the TV.  Well that generation did pretty good, I think, and families are families. Just look at all new amazing things we keep coming up with, and negative like pollution and crime and a bunch of nasty stuff, I know.

We are at a point where people can do what they love from anywhere in the world, and the right use of new technologies put more time in hour hands to enjoy with our family and our friends. When our parents left the house at 7 am and returned at 10 pm never to play with us until Sunday. Now I work from home and have breakfast and dinner with my kids almost everyday and yes sometimes we binge watch Netflix for hours on end but we can do it at our time when we can and when we feel like it. So we can plan trips and celebrations and never miss a chapter of House of Cards or Game of Thrones.  I was lucky enough to have met my mother´s grandmother, she lived to be more that a hundred.  She got to see a lot of changes, the radio, the TV maybe even the car and every time something new came along she shouted, I was told, The world is ending!

Our society is more communicated now than ever before. In real time from wherever they are. We can travel today in somebody else´s car and stay at some stranger´s home all while meeting good people and making great new friends.

Economy today is many times in people´s hands, you can make things and sell them, or be an expert on something and teach or help others you can write a book or record music all without the need of a third party getting involved. People working for people every day all over the world.

Whoever is saying that new generations are lost inside the screens of their mobile devices may have their eyes closed or may have their noses buried in a newspaper or their faces stuck on a TV screen living in the past century.

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