There is not a day that doesn’t go by that I am not reading a news story in the cyber-sphere about how social media is saving someone or some animal. It isn’t new that our sense of place and sense of community has transformed over the last twenty, thirty years. If you are not a blip on the social media radar, you are just not “it”. I have a love and hate relationship with technology and all its accoutrements. I can visually see and experience the digital divide of understanding and application every day. I get frustrated and try to retain some sense of patience when dealing with those that do not have the skills I do. I’m not perfect, never have been but I try to teach myself something new about technology each day. In a sense I play with technology because to me it is both a toy and a tool. I have progressed from those stick figures I drew as a child to a more sophisticated art form. I am my own fantastic artist in my own realm of reality.
The divergence isn’t new. Traverse the plains of time and you can see the winds of technological change; the industrial revolutions that brought about socio-cultural, economic and natural/physical enhancement. And you can pinpoint the troughs of darkness before enlightenment.
Are we inching into those science fiction landscapes of familiar movies like iRobot, Minority Reports, Blade Runner, etc. Perhaps. But how has tourism and hospitality changed with the role of social media? It comes down to transparency in all the connections we can make. It is a delicate balance of the effectiveness and efficiency in operations as well as capitalizing on those specific moments of truths. Every person, every click of a mouse, every word, every picture can be considered an opportunity. Technology will free us to return to a sophisticated commitment to service. Service is where individuals and firms will differentiate themselves.
Authenticity will take on greater meaning when we find that kernel of uniqueness. I would also now add genuine to that breadth of diversity. How will our experiences be defined if social media offers up greater paths of knowledge? Will we be able to find that truly once-in-a-life time event or do we need to expand authenticity beyond its current parameters.
Is it down to those relationships that we develop along the way and affix greater value? A host of questions running amok in my mind. I have mind map what I have read, what I perceive and the questions that have popped into my mind and tried to make connections. The map is evolving…stay tuned.