Episode 2: Jeffrey Sass on Social Media

October 11, 2012 // News, Podcast

In this episode, Jeffrey Sass of Social Object Factory and several other ventures talks to New Robot Overlords host Myk Willis about many aspects of social media.

Jeff makes the case that social media democratizes content creation, and provides valuable mechanisms for people to communicate and create content. While Myk suggests that forums like Twitter ‘cheapen’ social interaction by forcing it to be reduced to soundbites, Jeff sees it as more additive, portraying social media as a set of tools that simply amplify existing human behaviors – the good and the bad. Similarly, Myk wonders if social media is becoming a substitute for real-world interactions, but Jeff counters that in his own life he has had the opportunity to develop many ‘real-world’ relationships that he never would have had without social media.

Jeff touches on the growing importance of social media in our professional lives, which are increasingly being blended with our personal lives. Our online reputations are becoming increasingly important as our employers and customers change so frequently in this modern economy. He admits that the days of privacy are all but gone, and we as a society do not really know how that will affect us in the long-term.

The conversation ends with some observations about the way social media, like so much modern technology, plays on our biological predisposition to over-value new information – however meaningless it may be.

And I think the best quote of the episode is Jeff’s last statement:

we spend a lot of time missing events because we’re too consumed with trying to chronicle them. In the act of chronicling them, we’re not living them.

All together, It’s a really fun talk with a very smart and knowledgeable early-adopter.

Links Related to this Podcast


  • Apologies to Sherry Turkle, whom I name-dropped as ‘Shelly’ during the recording of the podcast.
  • Arthur C. Clarke‘s observation that “any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic” formed the basis of my joke that “any sufficiently targeted advertising is indistinguishable from content.”

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