Persistence-based limitations override
ORCM Architecture Model Transcendence, part 2: Persistence-based limitations override
Relations created online have some advantages over offline relations, at least in a business context. Such an advantage is transcendence over persistence-related limitations.
Throughout its history humanity used two main forms of communications: speaking and writing (there is also sign language but it is used on a smaller scale). The former can have a powerful timely impact but its relevance fades over time, while the latter tends to retain a greater degree of importance throughout the years. For example, tribal cultures with exclusively oral-based traditional knowledge tend to fade away while cultures based around writing-based knowledge thrived. This is simply based on the fact that sounds are invoked than disappear while written forms of communications remain by default (although they do disappear when we shred/burn the piece of paper it is displayed on, etc.). But even that rule is changing now as online websites/sharing software/social networks (YouTube and all) are introducing the concept of massive distribution/dissemination of oral communications. Still, the oral form of communication is harder to control than the written form; for example SEO functions are based on written words and the software is not able to scan for spoken words (well surely some guys are drilling down this stuff as I write so it should revolutionize online marketing practices soon to the immense joy of SEO-obsessed marketing capitalists). Could a dying/dead native language be saved/brought back to life through social media propagation then? Why not.
Online relations do not really introduce the concept of an «eternal» communication, as those already existed in one way or the other. For example, the Egyptian papyrus are dated thousand years old and still exist today; those drawings on some cave wall could also be considered early forms of communication (maybe there were a bunch of keywords in that drawing, who knows). We could then assume that there can be a form of persistence regarding traditional forms of communications (writing, drawing, folkloric songs, etc.). Social media just does that in a gigantic, enormous scale. Those Egyptian papyrus were «managed» by kings (pharaohs, tsars, or their equivalent), i.e. only the elite of society could read and then write. Even when having acquired the knowledge of writing one would still have to gain access to proper tools and materials to engrave writing into stone. Whereas a handful of people controlled written communications around that time, today almost anyone can gain access to a device (pc, tablet, smartphone, gaming console, etc.) that will enable her or him to post something in the cloud, where it will exist and stay «alive» for everyone to see (well, potentially lots of people), this for an unlimited time (in theory).
But there is no magic there. Although fairly improbable, let’s say there is a revolution/war/insurrection of some kind where Taliban-like figures seize power on a worldwide scale. They could then judge the online world as too hard to control, perceive it as a potential threat that enables people to collaborate, acquire and diffuse knowledge, evolve and take part in such similar, evil-inclined activities. To make it short those guys decide to «destroy the Net». They go to where cloud servers of ABC Inc. are located and blow them up, destroy those big cables under the sea, block all power sources and force us to cut wood and burn it to survive the cold months, etc. So there you go, all this social media stuff is gone. Yes, it will not happen but the mere fact that this kind of scenario is technically possible to some degree just serves as a reminder that underneath all this unfathomable online 2.0 magic you still need an IT infrastructure, buddy.
Part 3 (final part) of this thematic dissertation will discuss diffusion-based limitations related to online VS offline communications.