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Mo Followers, Mo Problems

Listening to the panel about this year’s “next big thing,” I can’t say I was completely sold. Yes, group texting/messaging/chatting would be a great way to stay in contact with your friends during your annual ski trip (as all panelists enthusiastically agreed) but, well, what if I don’t like skiing?

What I was sold on was the idea that by focusing so much attention on growing follower counts we’re essentially losing our ability to speak freely. Instead of sharing what we think is interesting, we share what we presume our followers will think is interesting. A fact confirmed by each of the start-ups was that the more people who join a group chat, the less authentic the messages will be.

Conclusion: Social Media perpetuates politically correct, watered down conversations.Disclaimer: If you’ve been keeping up with the SXSurrogates Twitter list (especially the HIGHlarious tweets from @HeyWhipple), you may be wondering how I could endorse such a preposterous sentence. Let’s keep in mind that we live in quite a rare bubble where wild and inappropriate tweets run free.

So what is the solution? Say whatever you want and don’t worry about what people will think? Protect your tweets? Stop trying to get everyone (and their pet) to follow you? The emerging group messaging category seems to think that by reducing the size of our networks, we can bring the truth back into our everyday dialogue.

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