Last Friday I heard Erik Qualman, author of Socialnomics: How Social Media Transforms the Way We Live and Do Business, speak at the Hood Harget Breakfast Club. He showed a pretty fascinating video on what he calls the Social Media Revolution, which you can watch here.
During Q&A, I was dying to ask him his opinion about my recent, late night, lying awake, contemplations about Facebook, but I feared public scrutiny. (As someone with a rather irreverent personality, The Hood Harget Breakfast Club is a place where I try to remember to mind my manners and blend in as much as possible.)
There are many who theorize that Mark Zuckerberg has Asperger’s Syndrome. Psychology Today, Autisable, Autism Support Network, and a host of behavioral expert blogs – all saw Asperger’s when watching Zuckerberg interviews and in the character portraying him in The Social Network.
Who knows the validity of this diagnosis from afar? But let’s imagine for a moment that Mark Zuckerberg does have Asperger’s Syndrome. People with AS have problems with socialization and communication. They struggle with socially and emotionally inappropriate behavior and the inability to interact successfully with peers.
If Mark has AS, he has effectively created a whole new world that caters to the interpersonal struggles of someone with AS. But in doing so, has he imposed his condition upon the rest of the world?
Facebook negates the need for “normal” social interactions and decreases children’s opportunities to develop social functioning skills. Did he do this to intentionally create a world that devalues the interpersonal communication he struggles with? If social media becomes the greater form of communication, does his condition become less relevant?
Another chief symptom of Asperger’s is engaging in one-sided, long-winded conversations, without noticing if the listener is listening or trying to change the subject.
Some could argue that this is the very fabric of social media as a whole.
Indulge my random theorization – what do you think?