Choose the red pill.
When I work inside Google+, I can't help but draw similarities to The Matrix. It's the layering of services and integration with almost every aspect of my digital life.
I also think this analogy helps us to better understand what Google+ is and it's place in the social world. Here are :5 Ways Google+ is Like The Matrix:*
1) Residual Self Image - The first time Neo enters the Matrix he's dressed sloppily and looks like a bum next to the sharp dressed Morpheus. Morpheus explains how the Matrix creates a Residual Self Image based on our own belief in how we look.
Lesson: You become who you believe yourself to be. If you've been following 's transformation you'll see just as Neo did the second time he stepped into the Matrix looking a pimp, it's all what you believe yourself to be.
2) Risk Creates Opportunity - Neo while still plugged into the Matrix is given a choice, the Red Pill or Blue Pill. The Red Pill takes him down the "rabbit hole" to a world behind the curtain. The Blue Pill and business as usual.
Lesson: If we don't step outside our comfort zone the world will always look the same. This could mean hosting a #HOA or starting a community and creating original content inside Google+ like this post.
3) Understanding Takes Time - When Neo first enters the Matrix he still doesn't understand what it is. He can't "read the code." He feels confused and frustrated. It's until he's spent significant time in the Matrix does he begin to see it for what it really is.
Lession: Google+ is different kind of social network, mostly because it's not JUST a social network. It's the social layer connecting every aspect of our Google integrated lives ( h/t for "social layer"). Set realistic expectations on the time it's going to take to figure this monster out. You'll feel less frustration and you can always grab the Google+ Starter Kit: http://goo.gl/ysxqsX
4) Practice Makes Better - In the Matrix, Neo and Morpheus are able to build worlds outside the actual Matrix, but with the same qualities and rules in which they can practice their art (which in their case was fighting).
Lesson: Google+ provides many ways to practice your art. Communities, private hangouts, shares to small, specific circles all provide avenues for increasing your Google+ skills without publishing to the entire ecosystem as a whole.
5) We Always Need Friends - Even Neo, the chosen one, couldn't defeat the Agents all by himself. He needed the help of Morpheus and Trinity and Tank and Dozer to survive.
Lession: Make friends on Google+ and add value to those friends as often as you possibly can. Be thankful for your friends and help them without expectation of reciprocation... h/t and the first two of many AMAZING friends I made here on G+
To see the social world for what it really is we have to be there. We have to spend time in it... using it... taking risks... making friends... and when we're ready, when we've opened our mind to possibility...
...the social world will reveal itself.
Then one day falling lines of green code will transform into connection, engagement and growth.
And you'll never regret have taken the Red Pill.
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image credit: http://gph.is/XNpkui
- Study computer electronics and information technology, present
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- Walker High School. Tennessee Technology Center at Hohenwald
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