One of the strangest things about social media is that not every person using it is a person.
Aside from the ubiquitous robots auto-building and populating platforms, there is a growing number of participants in our social networks who aren't exactly human.
I'm referring to "The Internet of Things" -- the much ballyhooed phenomenon of everyday objects, enabled by technology, talking to one another -- and to us -- using private or public forums such as text messages, email, or social media.
It can be as simple as your plant tweeting that it needs to be watered, or as complex as the customized Geiger counters which were set up in Japan to provide real-time radiation reports to civilians following the Fukushima nuclear disaster.
You may have already noticed the first wave of "Internet of Things" updates in your social networks from people who are feeding data on their runs from their Nike+ monitor into Facebook or Twitter (see example.)
While it may be a long time before your new pair of jeans can send you a tweet from your booty assuring you that it's looking fierce, it's not ridiculous to assume that, in the very near future, those jeans could keep your posted on its whereabouts as they are being shipped to your doorstep.
In addition to the updates we can get from our "things," we are also increasingly able to collect real-time data from our bodies, too (as well as data from the people growing inside our bodies...yeah, I know, this is getting weird.)
For example, it's now possible to...
As new sensors are invented, (and their prices and sizes drop), and new tools like IFTTT are created, expect to see an increase in these types of messages.
While all of this real-time data collection and reporting is interesting, helpful and sometimes, life changing, it also has the potential to transform the very nature of our social networks and, eventually, our lives, which opens a whole can of worms of questions, like...
We'll likely just have to cross these bridges as we come to them (an act that will undoubtedly be auto-updated to Facebook while it happens.)
In the meantime, appreciate the relative quiet in your social networks. With our increasingly chatty things and vocal bodies, our world is about to get a whole lot more noisy.
I’m a consultant, strategist, author, educator, and speaker with more than 30 years of professional experience. I’m passionately curious, fairly sassy, kinda dorky and seriously good at what I do.