For a while I have occasionally complained about a small fraction of my frustration of how it seems people are using and trying social media and other technologies for everything. It seems as though I was in good company when Seth Godin expressed his horror that classrooms were being encouraged to continually tweet away during a talk by Fred Wilson.
Social for social sake seems to be shouted from every corner. I have thought it reminds me of a small child with a new toy that’s trying to use it in all sorts of ways except perhaps how it was designed to be played with.
Imagine a big gathering of caveman each being given a flint for the first time. They’d all take them home to their caves and presumably they would all attempt something different with their new toy. Perhaps it wasn’t even one of the smartest cavemen, in fact I guess it was the one who just tried banging things together, but one would notice a spark when it against a rock. As long as he remembered and passed this information to another caveman then caveman would have fire and their evolutionary fumbling would become an accelerated march.
Social media reserves praise for the elevated group of people that “get it”. Just like I need to back-track and re-assess my thinking it’s time to re-discover that patience with people who you think don’t “get it”. It’s not about helping them “get it”, but about trying to enabling our own thinking, conditioning it to when we were open to the most learning and of course the most creative. If we are to maximize what we have and better the way we do things we have to allow people not to “get it” and take the Lego building off plan. Yes, it’s painful to see kids build what’s not on the Lego plan but it’s right to let them try.