Remember The Truman Show, released in 1998? Truman Burbank thought he was an ordinary guy, but in reality, his whole life was one big reality show. It was a great story but a ridiculous premise.
In 2003, MySpace was launched. All of a sudden, teenagers had a way to create personal web pages to share their profiles, photos, videos, artistic creations.
In 2004, Facebook gave college students a way to broadcast their status so that their friends knew how to find them and know what they were up to. Over time, Facebook would open up, allow anyone to create an account, and allow us all to share status updates, photos, videos, interests, and our location.
After a few years, critics, predicted that privacy would be the downfall of Facebook. Why would people want to share so much of their lives?
Today, nearly 900 million people share the most intimate details of their lives on Facebook. Millions of people check-in from their current location every hour on Foursquare and other location-based networks. Over 100 million people tweet the details of their lives from Twitter: what they’re thinking, doing, eating, reading. The reality genre is the single, hottest genre on television.
Just like Truman Burbank, social media has given each of us our very own reality show.
Think about it. If you subscribe to a friend’s account on FriendFeed, you can see EVERYTHING she’s doing on the Web: what she’s tweeting, what she’s posting to Facebook, her blog posts, her photos on Flickr, her videos on YouTube. It’s sort of like stalking, only we encourage it and we admire those with the largest followers.
We even title our social media reality shows. On most social networks, I’m jmpineda. I’m not a very big star. I only have 1,591 followers on Twitter, 302 connections on LinkedIn and 233 friends on Faceook. Meanwhile, a good friend has over 1,200 LinkedIn connections, over 10,000 Twitter followers, and nearly 800 Facebook friends. She’s got an amazing Klout score.
The next time you pooh pooh the reality TV genre, ask yourself: Are you part of the craze with everything you’re posting and sharing on social media? What’s the name of YOUR social media show?