21 August 2008

Knowing and Being Known

Brad Abare has an interesting article in Catalyst

First, Everybody Knew Everybody
For thousands of years, communities were made up of interdependent individuals that knew everybody within their vicinity. Lacking long distance communication and the ability to travel far, you didn’t know anybody else except the people in front of you. Everybody knew everybody.

Then, Everybody Knew Somebody
As travel and communication increased, we moved away from everybody knowing everybody to everybody knowing somebody. As cities increased in population and as people spread out, it wasn’t possible to know everybody in your world because your world was getting bigger. As long as we knew somebody, life would still be livable.

Next, Somebody Wanted to Be Known by Everybody
Enter the dawn of pervasive marketing and celebrity, especially post-1800. P.T. Barnum immediately comes to mind as a master of publicity. Revival preachers were also good at positioning themselves publicly so that people wanted want they had. It was no longer possible to know everybody, and knowing somebody was a given. It was now time for everybody to know me. The more people knew me, the more I would be associated with wealth, influence and fame. Yes world, you need to know me.

Now, Everybody Wants to Be Known by Everybody
With the immediate and permeative nature of communication, we’re now living in a period where everybody in the world wants to be known by everybody in the world. The Facebook population alone is as large as the fifth most populated country on earth. Facebook’s entire premise is to be known by everybody. Why else would people spend so much time updating, uploading and upchucking everything about themselves? Yes folks, we want everybody to know us. We’ve come full circle because this is how it started. Everybody knew everybody. Only this time our world is in the billions, not the barrios.

This seems to resound with the type of thoughts I have been thinking.
How many people to I really need to know? the world seems to be focus on quantity not quality of the relationships that we have. I don't know if I have something so interesting to say that I need everyone to know....he writes on his blog ;)

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