Massucci's Take: Is social-media making us less social?
How about President Barack Obama? Will he be less likely to speak his mind in public after ABC News reporters used Twitter to spread his off-the-record comment about Kanye West acting like a "jackass" on MTV's video music awards show? TMZ.com, owned by DailyFinance's parent company AOL, then published audio and video of those comments. Will such incidents cause celebrities and non-celebrities to be more on guard for fear that their every move may be made public via social media?
It seems plausible, especially as more of us walk around with cell phones equipped with cameras, voice and video recorders. Fact is, we're all in danger of having embarrassing behavior broadcast to the world.
And it's only going to get worse. The number of cell phones offering such features are multiplying, says Ilja Laurs, CEO of San Mateo, California-based GetJar Inc., which helps develop cell phone applications. According to GetJar, mobile phones are reaching audiences that other media can't and the number of people getting information from the mobile internet will triple by 2014. Already, the company says that 72 percent of consumers report that they now use mobile internet more than PC-based internet.
But maybe those people have it wrong. Jeff Pulver, who co-founded Vonage and hosts Twitter conferences in cities including Los Angeles, New York and Tel Aviv, argues that social media should be celebrated, not feared. "Social media helps increase self-expression," he says. "It provides a platform for everyone's voice to be heard. People who are not confident about their voice, discover that their voice matters."
Perhaps a better question is whether social media is actually making society more social? Laurs, Rutledge and Pulver think that's the case - and they may be right. Even so, the next time you think you may flip your lid in public, be aware that there may be a camera or microphone pointed your way.
Now, excuse me while I update my Facebook status.
Anthony Massucci is a senior writer and columnist for DailyFinance. You may follow him on Twitter athianthony.