It is interesting to reflect on the good old days before the Internet and Facebook when we had proper friends! Today I spoke to an old friend on the phone. I have not seen him in 28 years and we had lost touch until we connected through FB. Because of it, we could joke about all the things we had seen on each other's profiles and felt we actually knew each other. The odd thing is we did. At least far more than we would have done in the old days of once a year visits or occasional Xmas and birthday cards. Would we have remembered to say happy birthday and write without a prompt from FB or LinkedIn? No probably not. Would we have been in touch? No.
So, to this modern 'connected age' where we can contact family and old friends 24/7/365. Where we have no privacy and where we get depressed that everyone else's life is so extraordinary and exciting because we only post the positive stuff right! I would just like to say... I quite like it.
I like the fact that despite the best efforts of my dear ex wife to stop me having any contact with my daughter. I have a window into her world and her mine. And when she is ready to connect she can instantly! It is not the same as a hug, or holding hands or those moments in life that take our breath away but it is a damn sight better than a returned present, silence and doubt. Not knowing if she is alive or safe or happy.
We now live in a time when a single post or photo can bring such joy. One unexpected 'Someone you may know' can connect you to a past and a whole world you never knew existed and better still once connected you can share memories, photos and videos instantaneously.
Yes it can be pointless, shallow, narcistic, vindictive, and even obscene but that says more about the person and not the medium. In the same way as guns don't kill people: people kill people! The web is an incredible way of improving our lives and bringing people together.
This week I have coached clients in Delhi, Zurich, New Jersey, Tokyo and Dublin and been able to make a difference globally whilst still enjoying the beauty of the british spring, smelling fresh mown grass and watching the birds feeding outside my own window. How incredible is that! It is today's reality.
So to all those geeks and strange folk who got excited about making a b&w image of a robot wave its arm on the one BBC computer in my school back in the late 70's and those who have taken that technology to a whole different place I salute you and thank you for making the world a village or as Nokia would say for 'connecting people.'