I recently spoke at Digital Shoreditch Festival in London. A brave decision by the organisers (as I told my audience) to let me speak. The last time I spoke at a digital conference I insulted the Prime Minister of Romania ….to his face…..in Romania. I was lucky to get out alive. A story like that might make me sound interesting, I’m not, or rather, I’ve not been until of late.
Traditionally a life experience is dictated by what, who and where we know. Social Discovery changed all that and working in this space has meant I’ve had to practice what I preach – get out there and experience new things, find new stuff, and meet new people.
First step, I needed to figure out what the deal was with Social Discovery. Why were so many people getting into it? What was their reasoning? In trying to get some ideas for some Marketing content, I stumbled across a phrase that really worked for me in terms of putting it all in to perspective. “There’s More To Life Than….”. That phrase is an attitude in itself and is for me, the core of what Social Discovery is about.
I decided to put it in to practice. “There is more to life than watching Friends on a Thursday night.”. Turns out there is. I now watch Game of Thrones religiously. Although I thought this was a good example of me really discovering new things, my boss disagreed. I then decided to go out on a few socials on citysocializer and that’s when it went nuts.
I went out on a pub social and met some new friends. Great night, good people, no problem. Then I started getting invited out on some very different experiences – roller disco, drunk-bowling, camping, fancy dress athletics, powerboat driving. My life sounded like a Bodyform ad. Because I was operating outside of what I know and what my network knows, I was having brand new experiences. The experiences were made better because I was discovering them with new friends and my new friendships were galvanized by the shared experiences.
We all have a bit of passive discovery in our lives. We get new jokes in our inbox, we get new photos on our newsfeed but real discovery comes from embracing the concept. Real discovery is easy for some people, hard for others. Its like an education of you. It fills you with what can be, who you can know and what you can like rather than what you do. The new social discovery apps, sites and platforms will help those who embrace them to lead much fuller and richer lives. The fact that we have harnessed Social Discovery digitally now means that it is attainable, it is malleable. Social Networking has successfully connected us better to what, who and where we know. Social Discovery will connect you to that which you don’t.
It has now started to become obsessive for me. I am actively discovering new music, new film (or both in the case of Searching For Sugar Man – I recommend). The walls of my network have been broken down, I want to explore what I do not know, I want to connect with new people, I want to do new things. I have become interesting…or “less boring” as my wife put it.