This week’s #SMXChat topic arises from a Tweet by Alan @shinypenny in last week’s chat:

Which raises a question that we’ve discussed before, but warrants further attention. And it seems that other members of the #SMXChat community have similar views:

As rapidly as technology is evolving, it is changing how we behave. In last week’s chat there was much discussion around how Twitter’s 140 character limit actually enhances our communication.

So what of the ‘social media’ phenomenon? Considering the human attention span and shelf life of social media and internet content, the phenomenon has had a very long lifespan up ’til now. Where does it go from here?

As Alan and I discussed this question, he mused: ‘(I) am wondering if (social media) is just a step in the communication evolution.’ It’s a good question. Taken in historical context, it’s an interesting one too. To wit: How often do we speak on the telephone these days? Or mail hand-written letters? One wonders: how long can pointless babble in social media keep our attention?

I am frequently concerned with the human and interactive aspects of social communication, and my partner @eksays always has an interesting and refreshing take on the business perspective for the future of social media. His December 2104 LinkedIn article foretells some of the issues that we will bring up in today’s discussion, especially in the context of the psychological and sociological foundations of humanity as a social species.

Q1) Has social media lost it’s ‘soul’ to monetization? How/How not?

Q2) What criteria/characteristics indicate a social media platform’s ‘staying power’?

Q3) Which social media platform do you think matches how humans communicate best? Why?

Q4) How might social media companies balance shareholder vs. user needs? Or can they at all?

Q5) What human social needs are met by social media? Which do you think are unmet?

Q6) Do you see social media evolving to a higher existence, or devolving into a mindless mess? Be honest.