Social scientists are now trying to use social networking and the internet to predict the future. According to a New York Times article there was an ill fated project back in the 1960s whereby social scientists tried to predict political and economic events, it never got off the ground. Now, a different batch of social scientists and others are taking a stab at this prediction thing based on all the information they can glean from the internet.
Back in the 1960s there wasn’t a home computer to be found. No such thing as a smartphones and people communicated by telephone, snail mail or face to face. Now we have the internet and can join social websites and write blogs that are read by people who have no idea who you are and we will never meet. Obviously our worlds have expanded due to technology. Researchers believe that they can mine this “data” and figure out what we will do based on “sociological laws of human behavior.” It’s a little 1984. Don’t ask me how anyone is going to figure out what is going on in our heads with trends like #thingsthatlastedlonger, referencing the Kim Kardashian wedding debacle.
Social media and the internet is a great way to get your message out into the huge wide world. It’s not always easy to get someone to read what you write or visit your website. For some reason I am having trouble getting people to “Like” my Facebook page. Are they afraid that I will interact with them, post an endless supply of pictures and remarks? I really don’t know. The concept of social media in the business world is a form of advertisement. This could be why some people are reluctant to join the page. No one wants to be spammed. I like social media because it allows me to interact with others who have differing points of view and messages. It helps me keep my pulse on what is going on in the world, dramatic or simply fun.
Dream agate and carnelian necklace
It is also true that I write this blog to show off my jewelry. I am proud of my selections and I am seeking positive reinforcement. I’ve also noticed that many others do the same thing and this is probably why the internet is so important. How else would we know that we are making the right decisions with our accessories? Strangers can be brutally honest and our friends can be the champion of the “little white lie.” If something looks absolutely hideous I’m sure that I will get an honest answer out of some stranger in Ohio before I will get an honest answer from my spouse. It is this type of feedback that we are all seeking as business people. What do people really think of our wares? So until all those researchers can figure out what we are thinking based on our tweets, I will continue to solicit answers from the blogosphere. So the assignment for today is to take a look at my latest acquisitions and let me know what you think. I promise not to get mad if you don’t like them, after all, doesn’t variety make a horse race?
 John Markoff, Scientists hope Internet can shed light on future: Digital data could reveal patterns in human behavior., New York Times, Oct. 31, 2011.