Storytelling is easy for some and a nightmare for others...
We have spent the last month reminiscing about the First Annual Big Fish Awards; focusing in on the tech tale storytelling competition. What you may not already know is that after the competition the MC’s challenged the audience to share their tech tales. With no notice and only a 15 minute intermission to come up with a story and gather their thoughts, five brave guests volunteered to hit the stage. These volunteers spoke from experience and spoke from their heart; quickly engaging and entertaining the audience.
Congratulations to Daphne, who stepped out of her comfort zone to share her realistic story, ‘Me & Me. Her story exposed the audience to a different view of technology; she focused on society’s dependence on technology and the impact this has on shaping us and the world in which we live. As someone who grew up surrounded by technology, I can relate to Daphne’s story. Just like many others, I admit that at times I have used technology as the focal point of my social interaction. While I do not want technology to be the driver of my presence as a social being, it becomes increasingly difficult to avoid, as the world continues to progress and technology advances.
Below Daphne shares her story:
I’m waiting at a bus stop by myself.
Picture one version of me where I have my iPhone out. I’m an extremely sociable person – I’m commenting on wall posts on Facebook, double tapping pictures to like them on Instagram, composing status updates on Twitter, and pinning a miscellaneous collection of pictures to Pinterest. My thumbs can’t tap fast enough to respond to all my emails and messages, but I smile because I feel like I am connected to all of my friends in one way or another. I post on my mother’s wall to say “Happy Birthday” and take a picture of myself looking bored and send it to my best friend via Snapchat.
Picture another version of me where I have my Blackberry out. I’m an extremely sociable person – I’m emailing my boss, my clients, and my colleagues. And the fun stops there because that’s about all I can do on my Blackberry (side note: Blackberry Q10/Z10 deserves some recognition as they’re a huge upgrade from the old Blackberry we all love to hate). I put my phone away and I strike up a conversation with the lady beside me. We start by commenting on the great weather and then we complain about the long wait time for the bus. There’s a silence that ensues but I decide to skip the rest of the small talk and ask her how her day is. I’m not looking for a complicated answer, just an honest and sincere response. We start a real conversation and before long, the bus comes, our respective stops approach, and we exchange phone numbers because we want to stay in touch.
So my question to you is, which version of me is the sociable one? How do you define being social? What do people mean when they look at someone and judge them by how “social” they are?
What’s important is not all the messages and contacts you have on your phone, it’s the friends and strangers that are in your life at any given moment. Being present in your environment is what constitutes the most valuable kind of social interaction – real face-to-face communication, complete with body gestures and facial expressions that complement speech. Social networking applications are structured and constant while your life is dynamic and free flowing, subject to dramatic changes at all times. To be social, in its most simple and real definition, is to engage in meaningful dialogue or activities with someone else. While you can accomplish this to a certain degree using your social networks, to experience being social is to let go of your connection with those static networks and immerse yourself in the now. Right here, right now, we are being social. Don’t forget what it feels like to be social with someone else, not just by yourself, because at the end of the day, it’s not called a social when there’s only one person at the party.
Next time you are standing, waiting at a bus stop, I challenge you to think twice before connecting yourself with technology and disconnecting from the world around you.