Social Media Plato’s cave: insumers, not shadows

by Laurent François

Remember Plato’s Cave?

“Plato imagines a group of people who have lived chained in a cave all of their lives, facing a blank wall. The people watch shadows projected on the wall by things passing in front of the cave entrance, and begin to ascribe forms to these shadows. According to Plato, the shadows are as close as the prisoners get to seeing reality. He then explains how the philosopher is like a prisoner who is freed from the cave and comes to understand that the shadows on the wall are not constitutive of reality at all, as he can perceive the true form of reality rather than the mere shadows seen by the prisoners.”

And you’ll find it funny but I think it’s very close to people and brands’ fears when it comes to social media.

You feel that there’s something hidden, but you’re too scared to see. So you scream and strangely you hear an echoe, sometimes aggressive, and then too weak to be perceived.

So one day, you turn back to light, and light has a name! Social media monitoring.

And suddenly you discover that the shadows are in fact people, and that people have insights. And that from your own echoes, you get their echoes.

Finally, you see that social media is not so scarrying. Because they’re made of insumers who can write their footprints on Facebook walls.

(yes, this post was a fairy tale…)

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