I read the news today oh, boy
About a lucky man who made the grade
And though the news was rather sad
Well, I just had to laugh
I saw the photograph
The 1967 Beatles’ classic might need an update in order for today’s audience to relate. The era of “turn on, tune in and drop out” has evolved into a movement that “turns on, logs in, and signs up.” Today, we can assume the news mentioned in the song was read online. The grade is possibly an SEO (search engine optimization) score, which for many businesses is often very sad. But never fear. A quick laugh is easy to find as long as cats continue to play pianos on YouTube.
Today was a typical day for me in the digital age. It began with me downloading the podcasts I would listen to in the car. I have not listened to the radio or a CD in my car since I got my iPhone more than two years ago. As a writer, I enjoy Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Day, which they claim is designed for teachers and students of English as a second language. Call me a cynic, but I find it difficult to imagine that an immigrant from Barundi is able to work words such as zoomorphic, oppugn, or hebdomadal into their daily conversations. But hey, they can dream.
After downloading several more business and marketing podcasts, I turn my attention to Twitter. Coffee was trending so I decided to have a cup or two. Soon, the bathroom was trending so I went. #ToiletHumor. By the way, I despise the use of hashtags outside of the Twitterverse, it’s so #@$%^&*! annoying.
Next, while checking my three email accounts and unsubscribing to scores of offers for business development lists, I was notified by social media phenomenon Pinterest that a mid-century modern image of a TV dinner that I pinned had been re-pinned no less than 37 times. This disturbed me on several levels. First, do I really want people to know that I have pinned an image of a 50s era TV dinner as a fix for my mid-century modern addiction. Show me a Herman Miller bubble lamp paired with a Mies van der Rohe Barcelona chair and I am salivating like a pre-teen girl at a Justin Beiber concert.
Secondly, should I feel violated that 37 people have been lurking around my boards and re-pinning – no, violating my precious TV dinner? Suddenly I realize that I did the exact same thing when I originally pinned the image. My “aha!” moment led me to wonder what other good stuff might be housed on their boards. Hmmmm.
57 minutes later, I was jolted back to reality when my Draw Something game notified me with a loud DING on my iPad that it’s my turn to play. This modern day version of Pictionary allows me to watch my high school girlfriend draw stick figures (I later learned were Romeo and Juliet) on my iPad from 1,000 miles away. OMG! Have we become so jaded that we don’t comprehend how amazing this is? Forget skyrocketing gas prices – this is truly groundbreaking news!
After losing another 35 minutes of productivity trying to figure out how to draw the Hulk without using the color green, I turned my attention to my Google Reader account which collects marketing, branding and SEO blogs to which I subscribe. Be warned: Google Reader is not for the meek. If you oversubscribe like I do, getting through your daily news feed may require a half-pint of eye drops and eyelid props reminiscent of Stanley Kubrick’s “Clockwork Orange.”
With my business taken care of for the moment, I rewarded myself with some Facebook time. Within seconds of logging on, my mother messaged me that she is concerned that Mr. Campbell can see a shirtless photo of me that was recently posted to my timeline. I try and reason with her.
“Mom, it was an outdoor event and it was 86 degrees. It was also gay pride. Wearing a shirt would just be insulting to our culture. Anyway, relax, only my friends can see my facebook photos.”
“But he could see them. I know he could,” she replied.
“How is that possible, Mother and who is this guy anyway?”
“I showed him your photo on my iPhone. He sold me perfume yesterday at Macy’s. Perhaps you know him.”
“Gotta run, Mom. I have to get to work.”
Upon arriving at Electrum Marketing, I mapped out all my SEO, Online Marketing and Social Media tasks I wanted to accomplish for our clients. Coffee was trending once again, so I headed toward the kitchen. Along the way, I stepped into the supply closet, closed the door, and quietly repeated, “I don’t get Google+, I don’t get Google +, I don’t get Google +.”
When Google founders, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, didn’t appear and ruthlessly rip out my voice box like a modern day Bloody Mary, I breathed a sigh of relief, rubbed my intact neck and resumed my walk to the kitchen. I know critiquing Google is heresy, especially in my industry. But what am I missing? Whatever it is, apparently lots of people are missing it, too. In order to add more people to my paltry circles, I recently uploaded my Outlook address book and of the 1,000+ emails, only two were shown to have Google+ accounts. One was my mother. Enough said.
So in today’s digital world, it’s easy to feel like Lucy in the chocolate factory. Only instead of chocolate coming down the ever accelerating conveyor belt, it’s snippets of information, social interaction, and entertainment. And, instead of trusty sidekick Ethel, you’re left to your own devices…..an iPad or iPhone and a wireless connection.
Now please don’t get me wrong, I whole-heartedly appreciate the tremendous perks of this digital age, and I could go on and on, but that’s a story for another day. These websites aren’t going to StumbleUpon themselves you know.