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Richard Florida, author of Rise of the Creative Class, points out that well over 60% of Americans will never move more than 50 miles away from the town in which they were raised. These are individuals who are not part of the creative class. They are hesitant to change, they tend to keep the same beliefs they had growing up and they do not strive to seek out different cultures or a different way of life. After reading Matthew Calouri’s Why Facebook is Home article it became apparent to me that Google Plus is the creative class of Social Media and the Internet. Here is why.
Creative Class Individuals Enjoy Change
I think we all have a high school friend or two, maybe an acquaintance, that will stand proud of his or her beliefs that were ingrained in them from birth. Where I grew up, in the small town south, everyone is southern Baptist. Very Southern Baptist. So much so that there is not a single church in the town that is a different denomination of Christianity. There are definitely no other types of religions or beliefs represented. This town is so strong in their Southern Baptist beliefs that when I was in high school the science teachers read the Bible to the class. Yes, the science teachers.
This same small town graduates about 70 people per year from the local high school. Out of the 70 people about four or five go to a college that is more than an hour away. Five years after college maybe one or two of those individuals still live more than 50 miles away from the town. If you were born and raised there, you go back. Fortunately, I was not born there and my parents urged me to get out and see the world. As someone who has opened their eyes to diversity and an understanding that everyone is different I have no desire to go back.
Change is sometimes very hard for people who have been set in their ways since birth. I would imagine that a 35 year old individual from my hometown would have a very hard time living in San Francisco, Austin or even Raleigh-Durham. When voting on the “Gay Marriage” bill in the state of North Carolina that particular county had a 92% vote against gay marriage being legalized. Yes, that means 92 out of 100 are completely against gay marriage. Change is difficult for these individuals.
Google Plus Thrives on Change
Every single week there is a major change on the Google Plus platform. Early adopters can remember going through almost all of these changes. Some of us remember when hangouts were not on air or streaming live to YouTube. We can also remember the day Google Plus brand pages were released. That first major profile change was enormous. When communities was introduced by Vic Gundotra I know it was an exciting day for me. Plussers embrace and enjoy change.
That other place absolutely hates change. That said, it is the small “back home” town. They are not accustomed to something different that may challenge their mindset or the way they interact. Every time Facebook has a minor change the user base goes completely crazy. They like the way things have always been done. Individuals that have always done it the same way and they are standing firm in that belief system are not part of the Creative Class.
Why Facebook Wil Always Be Home
I started out this article by saying that over 60% of people will never leave “home”. I see it every single day in small town south. These individuals have no desire to break up the monotony. They went to elementary school and high school where their mother and father went to school. Their children will go to that same school. They will likely see their grandchildren graduate from that same school. Mom and dad live just up the street and their children will live on the other side of town. This is very comfortable for these individuals.
Facebook was their first social experience online. In fact, Facebook was likely their first experience online altogether. Some of my “back home” acquaintances have no idea what Pinterest is. They would never consider using an alternative social media platform because that is different. That would be like moving across country for a job in a “different” environment. They just cannot do it. That said, it has been proven that the creative class is taking over in the United States. They are individuals creating companies which provide jobs, they are starting movements, they are getting new laws passed and they are the future.
If you are willing to expand your horizons and accept that everyone is unique and special you are probably part of the Creative Class. You accept and love change because it makes you a better person. It is also true that you see the “back home” mentality on Facebook and the creative class growing on Google+.