I have a Facebook and Twitter account. I check them as faithfully as anyone else and rely on them for the latest news on the people that matter in my social circle. I almost feel prophetic when I see someone I haven't seen for a while and start a conversation about their kid getting an "A" on their math test last Friday. Social networking has changed our feeling of connectedness and made a group of strangers confident that the legions that follow them love them. We get to peek into their lives and they get to pry into ours. There's a strange comfort in knowing that we are connected to someone – someone who can testify that we exist and that we were awesome at Farmville.
But, all of that voyeurism has its price. Our status begins to reflect our aspirations and inspirations instead of our true state – who we want to be instead of who we are. We begin to cherry pick our updates, knowing that this group of "friends" aren't really our friends, but strangers that have chosen to acknowledge us. Our profile pictures get more airbrushed and our online persona more defined. Before long, we become more like avatars than human beings, who are both flattered that people have paid so much attention to us and insulted that they would be so presumptuous as to talk to you about last week's hospital visit.
Our own family and close friends begin hearing from us less because we truly believe that their tweets are enough – if their avatar is doing good, then so must they, right? If they were going through something rough, they would post it to their 300-person friend list so that Google can index it and republish it to the world, right?
This is the place we find ourselves in 2010 – struggling to understand what all of this social networking means. Are you any closer to these people? Before you affirmatively answer that question, ask yourself how much time you have spent with the people on your friends list. Do you know how they feel each day? If something was terribly wrong, would they post it to their Facebook status, drop subtle hints, or not post at all?
Is it even possible that technology can help to solve this puzzle? That is exactly where the idea for DayShout.Com steps in. Instead of people feverishly checking your online persona – your avatar – the service zooms them in on the real you. The question is simple – "How Are You Doing Today?" How you feel physically, emotionally, and spiritually is so important. I can‘t solve your life issues, but I can help to make you feel better in one of those areas. Most of all, we can be there for each other when it really matters. We stop relying on statuses and online personas and dig deep into the lives of our friends and family. You can transform a church when the masks come off. You can reunite a family when the facades go away. You can stay connected with your loved ones overseas as if they were with you each day.
Think about how things would change if we stopped focusing on being social and started being more personal. I don't know about you, but I'm just too busy to be that social. I even know people who have hired people to maintain their online personas because they are so busy. But, one quick pulse check doesn't take a lot of time. What if you could spent less time connecting and make that time more meaningful than ever? Would you make that transition?
Yeah, I still update my Twitter and Facebook accounts. I maintain that online persona. But, for those that I love and want to develop meaningful relationships with, I would never dream of using such a public forum. For those people, DayShout.Com gives me what I need to pour my heart out and be truly accountable to those I trust most.