Let's say someone was to offer you a million dollars; you being a rational person & all, what would you do with it? Would you invest in underserved communities? Or maybe you'd feed the hungry? Take care of your immediate family?
Now let's just say that instead of the noble aims named above, you decided to spend it on strippers, booze, & video games...
Well that's what's happening when it comes to the currency of networking in many situations. The theme of this month's Forbes magazine is the power of networks, ranging from economics to religion to the social networking phenomenas known as Myspace & Facebook. Inside the pages are a true testament to the importance of networks to human behavior, development, & survival. Not to go too far out b.u.t. ponder this for a sec: Your very existence is due to the cooperations of various networks inside of the body. It was in this vein that I started to look at how young Black & Brown people utilize networks & to what end. After thinking about it for a sec, I saw that by underutilizing networks, we actually set ourselves back in the process to community change.
While that may all sound very "deep", let's bring it back down to lowest form & ask the following questions:
- How many people do you know that has been able to access their primary source of income off of Myspace?
- How many people do you know that have found a "relationship" off of Myspace?
- How many people have a friendlist full of obvious business contacts?
- How many people have a list full of naked women and/or gang members?
- How many people do you know that have been able to build a strong grassroots network off of social networking sites?
- How many people have someone with a name like 'Long John Silver' or 'Tasty Sweetness" in their top 8?
Now this is not to say that many ou haven't made viable cultural & economic connections through social networking sites; It's to say that by allowing a potential goldmine like Myspace or Facebook to be used for foolish things, we blow a chance to truly be change agents in the 21st century by using all of the tools at our disposal. One of the few benefits of globalization is the ability to be able to communicate & do business across the globe, which shrinks the space that we have to traverse in order to bring about Freedom, Justice & Equality. Her's a few ideas to think about when you're using social networking sites:
- Can I add any value to the lives of the people who are my friends?
- Can they add any value to my life?
- Would I broadcast the fact that the people in my network are my friends if we were in the same space?
- Do I actually have anything in common with these people?
Let me know what you think!