Skip to main content

The Naked Generation: Growing up Social


How much have social networks changed our notion of privacy? What are the implications of broadcasting our lives online? It is good or bad

I think it’s undeniable that privacy as we know it has changed. We can easily check our friends online to figure out where they are, who are they dating, what they ate yesterday….  For the “older” generation like myself who didn’t grow up in this environment, this is a change. Honestly, I am still a bit concerned about exposing myself online, though my feeling about it is changing by the day.

The story, however, is different for the generation growing up on Facebook. They are not afraid to share their lives online. They want to send a signal to the world that they are alive. They are staging their own “reality” TV show that just happens to be online. This is why I call them the naked generation. They are living in a transparent age where the lines between public and private are blurring. I don’t know if social networks are the cause, but they are likely to continue to accelerate this trend.

Now, is being digitally “naked” is good or bad? While I understand the concerns around broadcasting our lives, I actually think that it is good.  I think transparency make us more human. We are more likely to care about others. Transparency also comes with a sense of social responsibility. To be part of the network, we need to respect the trusted environment. We don’t want to do something to others that we don’t want to be done to us. And, we are more likely to self-police the network to make sure that no one violates this trust.

We can also look it from an economic perspective. Transparency eliminates the problem of asymmetric or hidden information. Relationships carry a value in our society. They help us get jobs, exchange ideas, get dates… Transparency allows for differentiation of good connections from bad ones. As a result, we are more open to forming new connections with “strangers” who have a robust public profile. These days, we even have apps that facilitate profiling of potential dates.

In summary, today’s web continues to have a democratizing influence on our society. Initially, the web played a role in democratizing information. Today is about democratizing relationships. In other words, individuals are more likely to have access to people who previously would have been outside of their social spheres.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The Irrational Power of Nudge Brands

Nudge brands are brands built on interactions, not attitudes. They are mostly defined by experiences, not TV campaigns. They are designed around people's inconsistencies and errors, not for machines. They are simple, not complex. They like to break things into small chunks that are less daunting than big tasks. They focus on changing behavior, not generating awareness and interest. The Paris metro system card is a nudge brand. It is designed against human errors. You can use the card in any direction. IKEA is a nudge brand. It uses the power of personal investment. The more involved people are in creating something, the better they feel about the end product. Ryanair is a nudge brand. It chunks the whole purchase process. They lock you in with a low 'seat price' first to get a mental commitment. Then, they start to add the extra charges in bite-sized 'chunks.' Hare Krishna is a nudge brand. It is built on the reciprocity rule by giving away daisies. People should …

The Curse of Advertising Resources

With more platforms, more products and more content who are trying to reach a disengaged audience, it is becoming harder and harder for brands to stand out. Conventional practices are no longer working. People don't watch TV as much as they used to, so they don't see commercials.  They don't click on banner ads. They don't pay attention to billboards ads. And they don't trust brands' messages. Part of the problem is that we are too dependent on traditional ad resources, which limits the realm of our creativity. To thrive in this new environment, we, ironically, need the freedom of a tight brief: what can you do with no budget for mass media?  Or limited marketing communications dollars?  To make a comparison, traditional advertising is a lot like countries and economies that rely on oil. This reliance handicaps innovation. Countries with a vast amount of natural resources tend to have (1) less economic growth and (2) worse development rates than other countrie…

The Engineering of Digital Consent

Today, we build brands through social interactions. People opinions online shape our decisions on what brands should we buy or endorse. 90% of customers said that online reviews influence their buying decisions. Our challenge is that consumers don't pay attention and trust the message coming from brands. So, how do we affect the opinion of others in this environment? In marketing, we spend a lot of time and money creating advertising with the hope that it goes viral. However, most of the campaigns have little influence in today's consumers. Many campaigns have even the oppositive effect, with consumers sharing negative opinions or blocking advertising altogether. Changing behavior is hard. I don't think we have a silver bullet to influence people online, but we can learn best practices from behavioral science to increase our chances. Getting a little better in predicting behavior can make a big difference. Here are four behavioral principles that we should consider when c…