I’ve had a few days recently when I’ve been without my phone. This made me realise how I use social media to fill all the little gaps in the day when I’d rather scroll than think or look or talk. (Introverts unite!)
Over the years, I have been subjected to many people explaining the Gartner Hype Cycle to me. It’s *a thing* if you work in digital/technology. They use it to show how we are all sucked in to new tech, get disappointed, then shrug our shoulders and use it more sensibly. It is represented by a bendy chart like this:
I tried to review my own use of social media using the Hype Cycle’s five phases of a technology’s life cycle…
Technology Trigger: “A potential technology breakthrough kicks things off. Early proof-of-concept stories and media interest trigger significant publicity.”
Me: Started it/went back on it because I’m feeling strong. Technology will not control me. I can stop when I want to. It’s fun. Wheeee!!
Peak of Inflated Expectations: “Early publicity produces a number of success stories — often accompanied by scores of failures.”
Me: Oh it’s so shiny. A lovely portal in to pictures of excellent hair, architectural fruit platters, artistic shoelaces on amusing tablecloths, outlandishly refined pencil storage vessels.
Trough of Disillusionment: “Interest wanes as experiments and implementations fail to deliver.”
Me: What have I learned from the last 74 posts I scrolled through? Clean eating is both a joke and a serious food phobia. Everyone I know, or do not know, or should know, has more than me. More culturally diverse holidays, more whimsical children, more successful and publicly affectionate partners, more innovative recipes using avocado, birch water and food-grade iron filings.
Slope of Enlightenment: “More instances of how the technology can benefit the enterprise start to crystallize and become more widely understood.”
Me: Have accepted that my abdominal muscles will only be *that* defined if I use a bold permanent pen and glitter glue. Realise that taking a little peek in to the lives of friends and family is better than closing the door. A family reunion is three generations + Mark Zuckerberg in a blue room.
Plateau of Productivity: “Mainstream adoption starts to take off. The technology’s broad market applicability and relevance are clearly paying off.”
When I can’t be bothered making small talk amongst unknown school parents, I can pretend that Twitter is my work email.
Here’s one I wrote earlier
The invasion of the attention-snatchers Using technology mindfully. Does that sound like a phrase created by rich young white men in grey organic bamboo t-shirts? Turns out that I‘ve actually been doing it for years… I wasn’t trying to be mindful, I just don’t like technology telling me what to do.
Using tech for good, not evil I was running a little quiz and a guy made a joke about looking up answers on his phone. Him: But you’re a digital person aren’t you? It’s technology! Me: I believe in technology for good, and not evil.
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