How much access to the internet and social media is too much?
Kefar-Kedam a theme park operator in Israel which provides donkey rides for tourists in Galilee have found a clever marketing tactic that allows tourists to stay connected while enjoying the historic sites.
They have put wi-fi hubs on some of the donkeys so that tourists can tweet, update or send photos while on the ride.
Here is a video of some of the tourists enjoying donkey borne connectivity.
Now that is a great marketing idea, but a poor reflection on how far overboard some people have gone with social media. Where is the sense in paying good money to travel thousands of miles to Israel so that you can enjoy one of the holiest places on earth and then check what your pals back home are doing on Facebook? I know many people can text while walking and dodging traffic, driving or doing all sorts of other things, but rocking around on a donkey?
In the video, one of the tourists likes the idea that she can send photographs to her friends from the back of the donkey. The photos would look just as good on Facebook or flickr if they were uploaded an hour later from the comfort of the hotel room.
I may be an old-fashioned boomer, but I refuse to take my cell phone with me when I ride my horse. Yes it would be a safety measure I know, but I survived very many years in much more remote and dangerous places before cell phones were around. Besides my horse knows his way home, he doesn’t need GPS to help him. I ride my horse because I like riding him, like being out in the fresh air enjoying nature and find the break from phones and computers therapeutic.
I got another reminder of social media causing misplaced priorities when I read this post by a wonderfully kind person, who does amazing work for charity Anni Bricca in which she writes how nobody was prepared to help a friend of hers who fell on a busy street. We hear of too many incidents like that, yet people flock to support causes on Facebook for real or perceived dramas thousands of miles and many degrees of separation away. What’s going on here, we can support all these causes, often financially, as tear jerking as they might be, by clicking our mouse button but we can’t spend two minutes to help someone who has fallen down right in front of us?
To me one more indication that social media infatuation might be reaching its zenith. Will it start turning into social media overwhelm or burnout for more users any time soon? I know it already has for some.
What will be the next attention grabber after social media? More focused social media sites? More on-line games? Or maybe interactive commentaries for donkey rides around Galilee, complete with instructions for the donkey so a human guide won’t be necessary!
What do you think, is social media controlling us?
Wishing you success.