Source: LinkedIn discussion I’d started with this PressPausePlay trailer.

N.W.: I really think that social media has really helped people discover their talents and become these new kinds of artists and not only that, but also share these talents instantly with the rest of the world.

Erin Elisse: Me too. Part of this video is neat an inspiring. Nothing new, but rather them taking that very Benjamin Franklin-like perspective, “You invent yourself.”

To a degree, there’s some truth. But it still really comes down to how you market yourself. And you have to today, in today’s way. This part is fun for me, but I can understand the challenges for a painter or musician. Online portfolios, social media and actively generating leads/sales is non-negotiable.

In another way, it’s all a little scary to me. While technology is growing/changing the way we do things, our population is growing as well. And young people are tech-savvy, with reduced attention spans. There are less jobs, more competition, more pipe dreams, more distance from “tangible” work and it sounds like 1984, Brave New World or We.

N.W.: I agree with you, today’s youth are very tech-savy, but it has become a detriment to their attention spans which is very clearly evident in their social skills, performance in school, and obsession with pop culture.

It very much is about how you market yourself and from there is where the competition starts. The mission becomes: How creatively can I get attention? I think that this does bring out talents, a craving for knowledge, and connections people never would have had before which is the exciting and great part of it all, but it does make is so very difficult for the painter or musician who hasn’t put themselves out there in the digital world in what they may seem as an aggressive form of publicity. I think this is creating such a new personality type that has never been around before. I’m trying to figure out though if this evolution of the human personality towards a perceived goal is one that benefits us or is detrimental because as you said, we are moving away from more “tangible” work.

Erin Elisse: N.W., you get it. You are spot on. There are countless books out focusing on developing habits, i.e. The Power of Habit and The Power of Full Engagement. But technology influencing those habits and its effect? Who knows. There is an interesting book from Paul Adams I’ve yet to read called Grouped. He’s Facebook’s Head of Brand Design. It covers much of what I already think in regard to new abilities afforded to us with technology. It’s about how we not only have the abilities to measure engagement, but specifically, influence.

What if what we thought affected people’s decisions was wrong? What if we can better, and more methodically, master people’s thought patterns and behaviors?

Is it better to know how we are wired? Who’s loss is it? Is there loss? Who’s gain? Can shaping our behavior based on technology help society? Help ourselves? Do we lead more fulfilling lives today than yesterday? Is virtual connection just as good?

There are so many questions, and so many who can take advantage in the meantime of us finding out some version of these answers. It’s stunning to me that big, corporate companies do not put more stock in becoming more web-based, solely based on the opportunity they have to make A LOT more money. (i.e. Insurance companies who do not have an automated request a quote system or propriety web-based products.) Also, the companies who do not invest in the right kind of metrics based marketing are missing out to more tech-savvy startups willing to compete for that mass market.

So much is changing.