Surely you have played the telephone game. You know, you sit in a group, one person whispers something to the next and so on. By the time the 'message' gets back around it is not recognizable. Here is a modern day version of the telephone game, played out in our virtual world where identity is as ambiguous as the message delivered. This was excerpted from comments made on The Weather Channel web site; severe weather had been forecast for parts of Pennsylvania:
"I'm very scared for my mom. She is five months pregnant with a little boy or girl. Please pray for me and my family. God bless you all!" H.D., 6/1/12 1357
"i hope she is ok, but god isnt real" N.C., 6/1/12 1618
"Seriously? not something you say in a post." M.N.M., 6/1/12 1650
"Don't let this scare you. It is super rare that anyone is harmed by the weather in PA. And by the way, Nick is not real;)" S.E.D., 6/1/12 1654
"God is real, I KNOW IT" M.B., 6/11/12 0711
"So did the Jews right before the Nazi slaughter were was GOD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" V.H., 6/13/12 0316
"God is where we decide to place Him in our lives, even in the midst of slaughter and thunder storms… That's probably when His presence is truly REAL!" E.F., 6/13/12 1809
"AMEN!!!" 6/14/12 1843
Yeah, it's sort of like the telephone game. By the time you get to the end there is no way to imagine some gal was concerned about her pregnant Mom. The abundance of essentially anonymous communication portals has given rise to an entirely new style of communication. If it were only evident in virtual environments such as this it would be one thing; but I have seen all too often that this evolving communication style is as pervasive as Asian Carp in the Great Lakes.
What does this mean for business? Well, we are often given to defining the workforce by the generations that we employ. Working with Gen X is different than Gen Y and the Boomers are another matter and so on. Whether the evolving virtual communication style will define the populace or redfine the idea of a generation remains to be seen. What is clear is that the movement towards anonymity has powerful effects and business and life as we know it will be impacted by it.
This is only the beginning of the conversation. Personally, I choose not to remain anonymous. How about you?