The world has become smaller, we are now all living in a small village the size of the world.
We are now living the Age of Social Presence. We have always been social animals, but now as we become aware that we are sitting across the room of people in the other side of the world, being social takes a whole new meaning.
Now we are painfully aware of our Social Presence. It’s like the feeling of discovering our zipper is open in the middle of a public speech. We are all scrambling to hide the embarrassment and the awkwardness of exposure.
Each of us try to cover himself the best possible way, while at the same time we try to show ourselves in the best possible light. It is important to be social, we know that. Suddenly, we became aware that others are looking. The shades of distance have been lifted. We are all in public. And everyone’s looking.
Since the beginning of the Internet, anonymity has been an option. It still is, although of a different kind. Now, with efforts of several big players, anonymity is being erased. It isn’t any longer possible to be someone else in the Internet. Well, it is, but it takes a long and constant effort, that only has a meaning to a small number of people (small relative to the number of people that use the Internet).
Social Presence is the norm. The comments we made on a blog, can be related to posts you make on a forum or on your favorite social network or identity platform. Who we are, what we say, where we say it, when we say it, all that is available. All that can be found. All that is us. All that paints a picture of who we are, what we think, what we will vote for or against. It’s transparent. We all live in a Glass House now.
Even if some are apparently not aware of that, in some sense, I think that we all feel that exposure. We feel the eyes on us, we feel it even if we don’t know how or where it’s happening. We react to that. Each in it’s own way.
Acceptance and Inclusion are driving us to be socially innocuous. To step on egg shells and be politically correct. To not upset anyone. To be accepted and included we are trying to present a public facade, masquerading as non-threatening. We don’t take sides. We don’t champion our causes. We stay on the side lines, because we are afraid of alienating a part of those that come in contact. We are quite conscious about not being offensive, of not being branded as (gasp) asocial.
Guess what. When you act like that, everyone can see. Remember, transparency.
We will never be accepted by everyone. We will never be included in all the things. There will always be someone or some group that will not stand us.
Having an opinion isn’t offensive. Disagreeing isn’t offensive. Being wrong isn’t offensive. Championing a loosing cause isn’t offensive. What may be offensive is how you do it.
I think it’s time that we drop the masks, show everyone who we really are. Let the world see us, and let everyone decide if they like you or not. Being afraid of not being liked, accepted, included will drive you to the mask, will not pull the shades again on your glass house. You can say a lot about yourself by what you choose to be silent about.
In this global town square, where we shop, play, discuss, study, live, we will find peers and adversaries. People that will agree with you, will hate your guts, will love you or hate you, for what you are. The more and the more complete you show yourself, the better you will recognize them also. Limiting your reach, hiding behind partial blinds, shutting yourself off from others that you don’t know, choosing to only connect to a small portion, choosing only safe topics, choosing who will know you, will not make you invisible again. Only harder to understand.
Going for Acceptance and Inclusion will make us inconsistent and probably liars.
Let’s stop. Defend your causes. Make mistakes. Be wrong. Be FREE. Be who you are. Yes, there’s a danger. Someone may find you irresistible.