What if the Death Star got social and Darth Vader ruled?
Colleen Burns 120000C4RP firstname.lastname@example.org | | Tags:  keith_brooks ibm_redbooks ibmchampion ibmredbooks darth_vader social_media
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Keith Brooks, Social and Collaboration Practice Leader, VoiceRite
Could Darth Vader have won instead of the Rebels? Could it be that a strong network of Sith Lords could control the masses through social media efforts using The Force? These may be strong words, young Padawan.
There is an amusing Twitter account I follow called @DeathStarPR that brings my point forward. What if social media was used as an insidious effort to gain the upper hand against the Rebels? What would the Star Wars universe look like decked out in only black and white?
Imagine if Vader won, not because he was all powerful or used The Force to grip everyone's necks and kill them, but because he used social media. You have to admit, The Force is a pretty cool idea for instant notification. Did Darth Vader’s lack of social media skills cause him to miss key information that could have saved the Death Star and helped continue their universal domination?
By trying to crush the Rebel Forces, was Lord Vader looking to squelch any bit of derision and opposition that could spread throughout the galaxy? Should Lord Vader have used Klout scores to remove the independent thinkers? What if the Twitterverse was leveraged by zombie accounts that together presented a great and wonderful emperor that people would think highly of?
If Vader had succeeded in winning over the known universe, would we all have to wear white, hard plastic uniforms? What would children be taught in school? Would we find daily "incentives" in our inbox about staying alive and following orders? Would we be able to crowdsource what color Lord Vader’s attire should be?
Social media evidently did not invade the Star Wars future, but it has invaded ours. Are we on a divergent course? Maybe there’s a time and a place to be social that will eventually give way to a stronger schism within the world.
Could the social era eventually fade out? The monitoring that governments do today—whether covertly or openly (because everyone is so free with their information)—could lead to a point in time when people stop sharing information. Fear and privacy issues come into play. When would the invasion of privacy turn people against social media, if ever?
Social media helps us all in ways we never could have imagined. We now know when each and every snowflake falls in a storm, and we have the pictures to prove it. We also have machines that track our every move and can provide us with either an alibi or the guilty details in many different ways. Speeding on the highway? Your phone can turn you in. At a conference for work? Or on vacation? Your photos, check-ins and other people will set you right.
Social can also be used deceitfully. Now we can schedule emails and status updates for the future, enabling more alibis. So where does all this get us? The Death Star.
Yes, that beautiful castle in space is the culmination of what could happen if social media went awry. How do you think the emperor could get to be so powerful? His minions have been at work forever, and many no doubt died horrible deaths helping him amass the greatest follower list in history. The Dark Side of The Force has taken over and instead of their better side, their humanity, saving us, what if in the end evil trumped good? And worse, what if the future really did not want to be social?
Imagine if the universe could vote on what would happen to you, on whether you get a promotion or electric force death. Tough call, I know, but if Darth Vader wins over his son to the Dark Side, we could live a different existence, wormholes and paradoxes aside. There would be patrols on every street and curfews at night. And our kids better not have midi-chlorians found in them or else they may meet with certain demise.
For sure, the future would be dark and hidden from us if social did not rule the world. The possibilities are endless. A lack of social ability can lead to splintered Rebels and arrogant leaders who try to decimate an entire group of people because they see the light of The Force for good. Social media is good; it brings people together in ways we can only discuss and see in rare glimpses around the world. I can go to a conference in Orlando and meet people from all over all because we know each other in a social way. We can then go on to fight the good fight against the Dark Side together, in ways we cannot even imagine.
Keith Brooks is the Social and Collaboration Practice Leader for Voicerite, an IBM Premier Business Partner. Keith has spoken at SugarCon, Lotusphere, the View Admin conferences and other industry events on subjects around messaging and social leadership. Keith has written articles, books and blogs around IBM products and solutions for over 20 years.
Keith is an IBM Redbooks thought leader