For most of our lifetime, technology has been accused of driving us apart – of separating us. And we railed against this as human beings. Computers have brought efficiency, but also sterility. They’ve allowed us to communicate, but not connect.
I believe that the story behind the story of social media is that finally technology has evolved to a point where it has started to connect us. We’ve turned a corner. In the past few years, advances in both hardware and software have dramatically turned this around. We now enough processing power, bandwidth and storage space to be able to use computers effectively to aid us in properly human interaction. As humans, we have deep seated drives to connect, to interact, to contribute and to belong. In the past, technology has restricted our ability to do these. But now it’s enabling these.
That’s why nearly half a billion people are using Facebook to connect. And why social media is the latest hottest thing. Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube and the rest – these may all be fads. But the concept is here to stay.
Here’s one example…
A Story before bed.com allows people who cannot be in the same bedroom as a young person to still read them a story before bedtime. It allows grandparents in far off countries, travelling businesspeople, separated families, or anyone else, to read a story, record it to video and have it played back at any time. The clever bit is that Astorybeforebedtime.com has integrated actual books (beautifully illustrated favourites) with audio and video from your webcam. The result is a video that includes the book, shows the pages turning, and includes the face and voice of the reader in one screen.
You can record your video for free. You only pay when you’re happy with the finished product, and want to send a link to final video to someone else. They even have an iPhone app to allow you to watch remotely.
Technology as a connector. This is the future.