I loved this video: Melvar and Lien building a physical scale model of their web site.
And I think there’s a very important lesson in this. For too long, too many of us have assumed that people who excel in virtual worlds are useless in physical worlds. Get a life before you get a Second Life, that sort of thing.You know what I mean. But we’re wrong, very wrong.
I remember reading a Pew Report which indicated that the super-communicators in the emergent generations actually spent more time face to face with their friends than the rest of the population.
We have to keep remembering this. When Generation M, the mobile multitasking multimedia millenials, spend time online, they’re not sacrificing face time with their friends and family.
They’re sacrificing TV time. And advertisement time. And everything else that goes with it. Particularly when you compare them to earlier post-TV generations.
So they’re going to do what we never managed to do enough of. They’re going to choose what they do in their leisure time. Choose whose recommendations they trust. Choose whom they spend time with. Choose who they share their intentions with. Choose.
[It should come as no surprise that I found out about this site and project via Scott Beale, who knows a thing or two about virtual and physical worlds. Thank you Scott.
8 thoughts on “when virtual and physical worlds meet”
Generation M is on the right track. I agree. We overglorify the pre-tech past sometimes.
It takes a different conceptual leap to go there. To many in their late 50s and 60s, it takes time to appreciate these tools, and how they can be employed. However, once we do so, and relate it to familiar, then it all becomes exciting.
This is just the point that Clay Shirky makes when he talks about how society over generations has absorbed the cognitive surplus (his term, and a great one) available when people no longer have to spend 24/7 meeting basic needs. In the industrial revolution, it was gin, in the suburban age, TV sitcoms. We’re in the first era where cognitive surplus can effectively be given over to production rather than consumption: it’s as big a change as any that’s hit society. Transcript is at http://www.herecomeseverybody.org/2008/04/looking-for-the-mouse.html , video at http://blip.tv/file/855937
That’s great :)
I was just starting to feel like there’s something missing in all this social tech, without the social and you’ve hit the nail right on the head… It is indeed being social in realtime, and co-ordinating activities through the social web that make it such enabling tech.
Well, methinks moi’s “Krispy Krisha” sums it all up.
“When Generation M, the mobile multitasking multimedia millenials, spend time online, they’re not sacrificing face time with their friends and family.”
Correct but they’re often sacrificing other things instead. I mean the ability to block out surrounding distractions to focus on a virtual conversation shows great focus, yet at the same time you have a disconnect of physical presence awareness to achieve this (i.e. walking out onto the street and getting hit by a bus). In addition, the ability to have a virtual private conversation with anyone anywhere is great, yet in truth you’re publicly broadcasting your conversation to everyone around you which often shows a lack of etiquette (values) on your part.
Anyways my point here is that depending upon what you do, these traits or abilities you’re learning could be beneficial or hazardous to your job. Thus some organizational cultures may demand them, while others will avoid them. From my personal perspective, the benefits of mobile virtual face time don’t outweigh the traits being learned which I view as negative ones.
If however individuals place physical limitations on their virtual interactions (i.e. step to a small private area to talk to someone), then you’ll often have amazing and balanced results. I mean for those who are aware of virtual community building, this is a common approach often used in creating real, vibrant and meaningful communities online. In effect, the more you place physical limitations and restrictions on the virtual environment, the more real the community becomes. The Well is a perfect example of this.