Have you ever been commuting or been in a elevator for a few floors? Not a very lively and social environment is it? In the Netherlands there seems to be a rule that while commuting you are not allowed to talk to others that you do not know and the same goes for elevators. Which is weird behavior, since when you would see the same people online on a social network, they are all talking and sharing some of their deepest secrets, even to people they have not met in real life.
Will human interaction disappear?
Often when I do a presentation about social media and how to apply it in your daily work I get the question if there is still space for real life human interaction or that it will be replaced by social media. Well if you read the first paragraph than it might the basis of a very spooky future where people interact via screen and keyboards.
However, interaction between people is something that every human being wants and needs, it just seems like the barrier online is so much lower than in real life. Online you have got a reason to talk to someone, or to an entire group (for example Twitter is about what you are thinking / doing at this moment). In a bus of elevator, there is no reason to interact or to start a conversation. Well actually there are enough resons to interact with your fellow commuters since you will not get killed by interaction and although you are taught that you should never talk to strangers, it won’t hurt you, it could add value and gain you some insights. However, starting a conversation with somebody you don’t know seems to feel a bit clunky in real life.
Akoha and Springboard; social reality games
With a spooky future ahead it is a good thing we have social media. A service like Akoha offers a social reality game where you can earn points by playing real-world missions with your friends. Missions might include giving someone your favorite book, inviting a friend for drinks, or buying a friend some chocolate. Something that you will not do just to make you feel good, however if you have got a reason (like a social reality game that has cards with missions on it), than you have a reason to do so. It does not feel clunky anymore, and the one you are helping could be still a bit surprised, however he will not be suspicious, since he knows why you are doing this.
Cristina Matei created something similair called Springboard. That is exactly what Akoho and Springboard do: offering a springboard to real life interaction via social media that removes the barrier we perceive when starting up real life interaction. Using social media just for the sake of being social in real life, I sure hope that is not our future, however still better than only talking with each other via screens and keyboards.