Full Disclosure: I'm not yet a true believer in the Social Media Revolution, though I was a very early adopter of everything from MySpace and Facebook to Twitter, Pandora and Digg.
I'm just not sure that all the Social Networking hoopla and absurd market valuations are truly bringing anybody closer together, and may even be dividing us by using technology to actually separate us more.
This said, I nearly fell off my chair this morning when I read a Forbes.com report, titled "Pro Lacrosse Team Replaces Names With Twitter Handles On Jerseys." Huh?
Now call me insane... or a Luddite... or just plain disagreeable, but I find this a bit over-the-top. While I'm sure Jack Dorsey & company are celebrating, I think such celebrations may be premature.
Though the Philadelphia Wings lacrosse team is just seeking approval for this wild pseudonymous interchange and it appears to be only for one game, the pure idea of replacing the players' names with their Twitter handles seems like a big win for the Twits.
I'm not so sure MLB, the NFL, NHL and NBA will ever go this route. And I certainly hope they don't. The last thing I want to do as a baseball fan is go to a Yankee game and spend my time reading the Twitter feed instead of watching the game. For the love of God -- I want to WATCH THE GAME.
Though sadly I can see the day coming, perhaps, when I do go to Yankee Stadium and immediately find myself immersed in a row full of smartphone zombies glued to their Twitter feeds. Ugh.
Bear with me on this: Does anybody smell a rat here? Does this remind anybody of another time when technology was regaling us all with its superiority and the way in which it was "changing our lives?" I'm referring to the period right before 'Tech Wreck 1.0;' the arrogant run-up to April 2000 when NASDAQ plummeted and millions of Americans lost their jobs and life savings.
Reader, let me ask you a question: Is it at all possible, at any level, that this invasion of technology into our lives might be a bad thing?
Because that's what this Twitter/name switcheroo on jerseys is really all about; humans becoming more dependent on technology, not more productive because of its wise use. This human immersion in technology that we're all going through sometimes make me wish for the simpler times of long ago.
Ah yes, put me in a 1963 Buick station-wagon with no seat belts, put a martini in one hand and a Chesterfield cigarette in the other as I bomb around town looking for the next bar. Sounds dangerous and irresponsible, doesn't it? Well, our parents did it -- and they did it without all the omnipresent technology we seem to deem so crucial today.
But the real difference in the above example is that I also wouldn't have a GPS navigation system barking orders at me about where to turn or somebody texting me a hyperlink or another calling with a Britney Spears ringtone or some Facebook status alerts chiming away -- you get the picture. All in all, my little imagined scenario sounds like heaven to me.
I could be wrong about this; after all, I've been wrong so many times before. However, all this Social Networking hyperbole seems to me to be an arrogant run-up to 'Tech Wreck 2.0.'
Be that as it may, how long do you suppose it will be until we start seeing QR (Quick Response) codes on players' jerseys?