Steptoe returns in social media

You’re having a conversation with a company Big Wig, perhaps an interview, and she asks, “What do you think of this social media phenomenon?”

Well, imagine it’s the 1960s. Horses pull milk floats, colour TV is just around the corner for most households, shillings are in your pocket and the Bay of Pigs has petrified the world. In between watching Steptoe and Son and listening to Elvis or the Beatles, someone asks you, “What do you think about this telephone phenomenon?”

With 20/20 hindsight you could’ve said, “It’s going to be amazing in ways we can’t yet imagine. The infrastructure we and other countries are laying now will be used for revolutions in communications and commerce that sound like science fiction if we talk about them now (think fax and Internet). User take-up will be so overwhelming that the lines will be stretched to breaking point and the ‘phones themselves will become like your watch or wedding ring – always with you. In short, phones will become an integral part of our personal and business lives.

The ‘60s Big Wig would nod sagely, probably with a slight smirk, and take the conversation elsewhere. But the answer to the question if you’re asked tonight at dinner is that, “History will repeat itself here…”


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