February 23, 2018
Words Matter – where meaning is being lost
There is no denying Facebook has drastically changed the way we communicate. In the process, they also changed the meaning of some important words in our vocabulary. The very nature of words or the status they implied has been watered down or expanded and forever changed what they mean. They boldly tell us, “Facebook helps you connect and share with the people in your life.”It’s worth taking a closer look at how they’ve changed the meaning of some words in their attempt to accomplish this, what they provide to billions of users and how successful they have been.
Who really knows you?
The very definition of a “friend” has been changed. Friends now include people who work for the same company, may happen to live nearby, attended the same school or possibly just know someone else that fits any of these criteria. However; it’s really the meaningful experiences and emotional connections shared between people that form real friendships, not simply accepting an invite. “What’s Her Face(book)?”, a recent study of thousands of Facebook users revealed they could not name 1 out of 4 of their Facebook friends when viewing their picture. Being labeled a Facebook friend can also be a disservice to those relationships that are inherently stronger. A sibling or the maid of honor is likely much more of a “friend” than a hairdresser or a person that attended the same business conference.
Sharing is the act of using or enjoying something with others. This very tangible action morphed into also meaning, look at what I’m having for lunch. Everyone appreciates a good meal but they would probably prefer to share that meal with you rather than have it shared with them in a post. Thinking about friends once again, there are probably many
This new version of “sharing” is great for increasing post counts and session times on Facebook but it crowds users’ feeds with events that can make the real act of sharing seem inappropriate. There is also no good way to really express the enjoyment that sharing creates between the few people directly involved.
In reality, sharing on Facebook is being done with a significant number of people who aren’t really “in your life”. This diminishes the depth of more meaningful social connections, either in person or online. Your best friend over the past 30 years now has the same level of information about you as someone who goes to the same dry cleaner. It seems like Facebook isn’t really accomplishing what they claim and fall short of truly connecting us with the people that matter.
Making meaningful connections
I just come across an app called Bequeathit, which is an app that was developed to address these flaws by focusing on creating and capturing meaningful moments so they can be shared with the people you care about. It’s an app that delivers meaningful messages to someone special that may be shared with your broader network of personal connections only if both people involved agree.
It conveys emotion and provides a way to express yourself like no current social network or communication platform can. The best part is that it captures the recipient’s reaction on video so they can share that special moment with the sender if they wish.
There is no “Like” button on Bequeathit either. When you use Bequeathit, a carefully curetted message is delivered, a sort of “pat on the back” to demonstrate the value of the message you’ve shared. Sharing something personal, privately or even anonymously in itself is a valuable thing and when using Bequeathit there is no need for a community to validate your actions. Of course, strong validation may also come from the recipients whose reaction video provides a unique and personal way to show it. They’re also able to use the unique emoji interface that assists them in finding the perfect sentiment to express their feelings. These features combine to create a highly gratifying experience that perfectly conveys the user’s emotions across the digital domain.
Make no mistake, Facebook provides a great deal of value to its users. However; Sean Parker was right in a moment of honesty when he said they achieve this by”…exploiting a vulnerability in human psychology”. They do this because the value they are most devoted to is stock share price. In contrast, Bequeathit places value on human expression and meaningful communication and hopefully bring back some of what is being lost in communications among family, friends and loved ones.
Facebook is an ideal digital bulletin board, while Bequeathit is the perfect digital handwritten note. The world might be a better place if people spent a little time expressing their feelings to someone special.
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