Social Media’s Opened Our Pandora’s Box

imageSocial media’s given us all a lot of power.  Now, our words and images can be delivered around the globe, instantly.  Our ideas, secrets,  our too-much-information, business plans, collaborations, with or without our tacit permission, are made available globally, in an instant.

Social media is the tool that’s opened the veritable Pandora’s Box of connections. But who owns thisPandora’s Box?

We do. It’s ours. It is our Pandora’s Box. Like the original Pandora’s Box, ours contains our ills and sickness. These are the trolls and hackers, spammers and phishers. And they are our penchant for sharing too-much-information with too many strangers, too often. We’ve all done it. Drunk with the elixir of a personal media platform and the power to publish right now, when we are most inspired !!!!, we publish. Anything. Anytime. Anywhere.

I just did. It was a quick riff on the difference between trickle-down economics and our current stimulus plan. I’m not an economist. But, I’m a tax payer with a blog. I wrote it, published it. Still, I am guaranteed to remain without a Pulitzer. But, maybe, it connects and inspires someone else who has the same question. Maybe it will spur them on to clarify their question or idea or solution. It always helps me clarify my thoughts.

And, therein lies the possibility of social media: Hope. No, not the audacity of hope. No. This is the reality of Hope. This is Hope made real. And Hope was one of the original elements unleashed on humanity when Pandora’s Box was opened…back in the day.

But,  the Hope of Pandora’s Box fell on barren ground. The ability of her neighbors then to share their Hope was, well, limited. Small communities, isolated and the printing press was a few centuries away.

Hope is an idea, a dream, a vision. Hope is our idea, our dream, our vision. It describes our view of life. Its depth and fervor and burning fire is different inside each of us.  And with no one to share Hope or with only a few to share Hope, well Hope fails to grow. Oh, sure. There are pockets of Hope. They sustain us, our families, our communities, our nations through the darkest hours. But only with a thread.

The Hope released from our Pandora’s Box today, with the help of social media, will land on fertile ground.
And that ground is the ground of our global conversation and connections made possible through social media. Big communities, spanning the globe, instant connections, a literate society, and each of us now are publishers in our own right, able to publish the most unique content individually and collectively. And we now can deliver that content…instantly.

Wow, Zane, you’ve really rolled out the hyperbole today, you think. Really? What brought the world’s attention to the abuses in the recent Iranian elections? Well, it first started with Twitter and the Twitterati and then it went mainstream on Twitter with members changing their location to Tehran in an effort to confuse the Iranian censors. Then green, the color of the democracy movement in Iran, became the dominant color on member’s profile pictures.

Ask Motrin about the power of moms and social media to express, ahem, disdain for a condescending corporate attitude.
And then there’s the granddaddy of ‘em all, Jeff Jarvis and Dell Hell.

These are all corrective actions. The community reacts to correct an obvious wrong. And in each of these cases, there were obvious wrongs.

But that community reaction is driven first by the hope and now increasingly by the reality that our ideas, our dreams, our visions can now be shared together and in essence feed each other’s hope.

Who hasn’t turned to Twitter or Facebook or a blog for an uplifting aphorism or thought for the day? Or a joke or funny video. That lifted our spirits.

Does anyone now not turn to social media to find tools and resources to make manifest our hopes and dreams? I personally have crowd-sourced twitter any number of times for specific tools and resources. I have always found a wealth of help. Actually, it’s a wealth of hope. Because the ease of finding these resources only fuels our hope that we can accomplish our dreams, manifest our ideas, fulfill our visions.

This post is a collaborative effort made possible through the efforts of numerous people, each of us blogging, tweeting, facebooking, finding our common ideas and vision on small business and social media and now finding a means to share them instantly. Here. With you. And your ideas, dreams and visions.

There is a lot to be thankful for. And one day, we’ll spend more than one day per year being thankful. But Thursday, if you’re giving thanks, give thanks for social media. Because, it’s social media that brings us a little closer, connects us in new and different ways with new and different people. And together we all find renewed Hope for our ideas, our dreams and our visions. Because after all, they are ours together. And we now have the tools to open ourselves fully to their possibilities.

About the author: Zane Safrit’s passion is small business and the operations excellence required to deliver a product that creates word-of-mouth, customer referrals and instills pride in those whose passion created it. He previously served as CEO of a small business. Zane’s blog can be found at Zane Safrit.