These are ideas that sort of wandered through my brain while I was drinking a café miel last weekend. Any resemblance between these ideas and any marketing research is based on nothing more than luck and, perhaps, educated conjecture.
I'm curious. How has social media changed our social demographics? Do you find yourself connecting with people who are more like you in ideas, but are less like you in age, race, culture, gender, sexual orientation, income, and all the other things people use to size each other up?
Traditionally, people tend to "hang" and share interests with those who are outwardly similar to them. In a sense, that's the reason that a marketing effort targets a certain group. Social groups are generally not as interracial, multicultural, or intergenerational, as we like to pretend they are. Even non-romantic socializing between men and women has only become common over the last few decades — especially married people having single friends of the (oh, I hate this phrase) "opposite sex."
Before I get off any farther in my social critique, I'll get back to social media. Though I tend to be a person who has a fairly diverse analog social network, by default, I am more likely to meet people similar in age and skin color. Digitally speaking, though, it's a different game. Through social blogging and Twitter, I put out ideas and read other people's ideas. I find myself engaging in an exchange of thoughts and feelings before exchanging knowledge of skin color, gender, or age.
This is pretty significant. My online network includes people young enough to be my kids and people significantly older than me (though, granted, not many my parents' age). I hear from my friends' teenage kids on Vox and Facebook. I trade thoughts, respectfully, with Christians, Buddhists, Muslims, Jews, agnostics, and atheists. They're all there: male, female, black, white, Asian, living in this country, immigrated to this country, living in other countries.