“All the world’s indeed a stage
And we are merely players
Performers and portrayers
Each another’s audience
Outside the gilded cage”
– Limelight, Rush
In my last post – Walking Between the Raindrops – I talked about the growing basic human need to remove ourselves at times from social media’s public stage; and our search for new platforms that will offer us a means to express ourselves freely and without regret.
We’ve seen recently however, that our partial escape from the theater of Facebook and Twitter to what we hoped was a new digital oasis in the form of apps like Snapchat and Secret has indeed turned out to be a mirage. Huge and glimmering, they and others like them have failed to keep us, or our moments private and safe.
This doesn’t mean that the concept of ephemerality and protected content is unworkable, but rather we haven’t yet seen its true embodiment. At least not yet…
As consumers, we increasingly need a platform that provides us the following:
Security – Enabling technology that will allow us to secure our content/identity/words (i.e. “Stuff”) on device or in the cloud so others cannot access it without our tacit approval;
Privacy – The ability to determine who can access our Stuff, when they can access it and how they can access it;
Non-permanency – Being able to set time limits on how long our Stuff will exist on a given platform, and how long it can be viewed by others before it fully expires and is truly deleted without a trace. Or even a delete on demand capability – the social media equivalent of the morning after pill;
Social-casting – A socially connected experience that allows us to share Stuff socially but with the same security, privacy and time-limited functionality that exists on the core platform. Simply put, the ability to remove “regret” from the social sharing equation. We can’t live solely in a walled garden right??
Fun – Yes Fun!! We want an app that is flexible, with an easy to use interface that offers us a whimsical way to communicate and share our Stuff with one or many of our friends. Otherwise, why the hell would we even use it?
But why do we want these things?
Because we are learning. Learning that we simply want to be ourselves sometimes. Learning that we want to be free to express who we are, what we like (or don’t like), how we feel, how we look and how we live. Learning that we want to express this openly, perhaps intimately to a select few or a large group, while at the same time being able to exercise control over this self-expression. Remember, it is ours after all.
Does this make us anti-social prudes, unable to deal with the demands of our social selves?
It just makes us human…