What Does "Social" Actually Mean?

A crazy smart post on Medium from Cliff Watson:

You see, we’ve come to define “social” in unintentional Orwellian double-speak. “Social” has come to mean the exact opposite of what it’s meant for centuries. Instead of actual interaction and communication, we define “social” as once- or twice-removed ego validation through button-clicking. 

“Social” is what happens when someone posts personal information—photos, thoughts, announcements, favorite songs, jokes—on the internet and another person comes along and clicks a thumbs up icon or a star or a heart. If someone’s really “social,” they’ll even type a comment or reply.

This is something that everyone who thinks about, works with or cares about digital/social/internet media should read and consider. Reading this reminds me of the popular David Foster Wallace convocation speech video going around right now. Like the fish in water, we've come to think of "social" in such narrow terms that we've forgotten the true meaning because we're too close to it. Cliff's post is a great reminder to step back and look at the bigger picture.

The other thing that strikes me is the incredible velocity with which things are changing. We all know in our guts that change is happening quickly, but it's reading things like this that really drive it home.