Over the years, social networks have lured us from the confines of our existing realities into a new genre of digital domains that not only captivated us, but fostered the creation of new realities. As George Bernard Shaw observed, “Life is not about finding yourself, life is about creating yourself.” Such is true for social networks and the digital persona and resulting experienceswe create and cultivate. It was the beginning of the shift in behavior toward an era of digital extroversion, self-defined by varying degrees of sharing, connections, and engagement.
On Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, et al., we were attracted by the promise of reigniting forgotten relationships and enamored by the sparking of new connections. These relationships evolved into our social graphs and ultimately ourinterest graphs and forever changing how we discover, share, and learn. We are now the architects of our own experiences, forever changing theinformation super highway and the paths for connecting people, information, and events. In doing so, we literally make the world a much smaller place.
With each new connection we wove, we were compelled to share details about ourselves that we might not have divulged in real life. And the more we exposed who we were, our aspirations, our hopes, and our challenges, the more we rewarded with responses and requests for new connections. The distance between what was, what is, and what will be, was then defined by what we share, who we know, and what we consume. In social media, we are measured by our actions and our words as well as who we know.