Are we "Cocooning?" I don't think so.

Faith Popcorn was right about some things, the cocooning of America wasn’t one of them. Her popular book, The Popcorn Report predicted that we would be hermits in our homes with our food delivered and our media on demand. The social media and social networking capabilities of the internet have come  out of the early adoption phase. Guess what? We’re gathering differently. We’re connecting more. Our relationships get real faster.

Social Media is allowing us to gather and connect based on shared relevant context.  When attending a conference all you need to do is start tweeting about going for a run, and, like magic, 10 people gather for your own “Run 3 miles tweetup.”  How would we have known before?  A conference bulletin board?

Meetup.com encourages gatherings centered around very specific interests.  Twtvite makes you an instant party planner.  You can start with a small group of friends going for a hike and let other people join at will.

Social networking sites extend the life of an event or gathering, allowing the conversation to continue and deepening connections. Ideas formulated in person can be followed up on in a Linkedin Group or on a Facebook page.

Not only do you improve your face-time, it’s now more organized, more relevant to you and you’re doing it with other people that share your passion.

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2 comments
Scott Eggert - MarketSmall.net
Scott Eggert - MarketSmall.net

Great insights Jeff. While Faith could be commended on making any number of predictions, often times we neglect the evolutionary nature of society and our ability to adapt to meet basic needs - which I believe social interaction on some level to be.

Others, such as Robert Putnum who have chronicled existing trends as indicators of future realities where unaware of the new forms of social interaction that would develop. Social platforms allow us to connect more efficiently than before, without the friction of institution or organization. We can now connect and share with others with who we share common bonds without the constraints of space, time, and organizational structures. No 'Roberts Rules' required.

Your examples of Meetup and Twtvit are also great examples of how online interactions can result in focused and productive face time.

Well done.

Brandon Weber
Brandon Weber

Popcorn was wrong because we are social animals (and why social media is so popular). Those who choose to use technology to "check out" already had a predilection to do so. You can certainly make the argument, however, that without modern technology they would not be able to check out so effectively and easily.