365 friends: It's the year of the geek

God bless my parents. Heaven knows how they coped. I was a right rotter in my teens. All loud music, piercings and dyed blacker than black hair. My music was their biggest bug bear. “Like a fire engine in a tumble dryer” was how my dad described the racket emanating from my pit.

Fast forward to today and the generation gap has slowly disappeared.
Micheal Steckler, AOL’s UK Managing Director set the audience a challenge at the Social Media Influence conference in London this week. A quiz to prove his point on the music front. He played five ten-second clips. Guess the song and artist correctly and an iPod Nano could be yours... Congratulations to Matt Cowan from Thomson Reuters who won. I managed 2 and a half… damn!

With restrictions on music becoming lighter over the years through file sharing and (il)legal downloads, the knock-on effect is that we’re more likely to listen to music that’s out with our usual field of interest.

It’s not just music that’s felt the social media after effects. Since its inception social media has changed the way we go about forming and conducting friendships too.

Friendship is common ground, mutual affection with a continuing dialogue. Location is no longer such a factor, Steckler observed, nor is age. Our friendships, also, sit within the technology we use and we have more friends than ever that we’ll never meet.

In the world of Facebook friendship is notoriously competitive. I pointed out to a friend of mine who has 365 friends how ridiculous it was. It would mean one beer with a different friend, every night for a year. I perhaps know that many people - never mind actually considering them friends.

If 365 friends is the norm these days then I guess it is most definitely the year of the geek.

[Pic: courtesy of Robin Hamman]


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