Chris Curry on social media and networking

If you have asked technology innovator Chris Curry to join you on LinkedIn or Facebook and not heard back, you are not alone, and the reason is because he is not signed up to either. These are his thoughts about social media and networking:

What do you think of social media?

I can’t stand it. Obviously it’s a huge drug and a habit for a lot of people, but I’m not a user. I keep refusing invitations to join either LinkedIn or Facebook. We use one of these networking sites for development purposes and I can’t stand it, I just can’t get on with it, it’s ridiculous.

I keep getting people saying, “so and so wants you to join them on Facebook,” and I just ignore it. I think it’s an intrusion.

I’m not a particularly private person, but I don’t like pictures of me for a start, and I don’t like the way it seems to encourage a  lot of puff, vanity, exaggeration, over indulgence, it’s all over the top. Like most television these days, it’s all over the top. It’s all about people saying how great they are and how wonderful they are and honesty has vanished.

I read an article in The Telegraph that says people on the dating sites are so dishonest that the only ones you can take any notice of are the ones over 60, they are honest. All the others say, “I am this, I am that,” and they are liars. And I think that applies to most of these social media things, and I can say it with complete ignorance of the subject because I have never been on any of them.

Somebody got me to join a blog thing and I gave up because it seemed to require you to be answering things that people put up in response all through the day and night. I like to sit down and write a letter and think carefully about what I’m writing. I don’t care for the quick one liners without thinking, and so it doesn’t fit me.  And do you know how many people I know that are the same, and it may be because I am 67 years old and most of my friends are between 62 and 70 and perhaps there’s a lot who don’t think like me, I don’t know.

You don’t find social media important for business and finding new collaborations?

No, because what I find happens, and we are doing quite a lot of collaborative projects, is that you spend so much time collaborating and so little time doing. We are almost withdrawing from collaborative projects. You’ve heard of civil servant syndrome – a civil servant sits there and does his job 100% of the time, if you put two in, they spend, something like 50% of the time communicating between themselves and the other 50% working.  If you put anything more than four in the same room, you only get 10% of work out because they spend 80% of time communicating with other, and I think there’s an awful lot of that about.

 The one blog which Chris has a presence is written by John Caswell, Acorn Computers’ former marketing manager, and it’s called

People there like to find the most unlikely subjects to talk about, it’s the only one I am listed on. John sent round a message which said, “I am deciding to be draconian with this site and if you don’’t make contributions, then you will be removed”. So I offered to be removed, but because I have known him for so long he offered to keep me on it.

 Chris’s thoughts on networking.

A lot of the projects we are involved with involve workshops that are supposed to be networking occasions. You are supposed to go there glistening with anticipation and eagerness to talk to people all around the room, and either you have got to butt in on somebody who is talking to somebody already, or you have got to wait for somebody to come and talk to you. I tend to be in the latter category, and, generally speaking, I am quite good at spending  most of my time alone because I don’t find any of them are going to generate any value from. I will talk to people in a bar over a drink, that is where I am happy, rather than “this is the community you are in, go and talk to them.”  It doesn’t work for me, it’s just because I am an old dog, I think, I don’t care for it.

At a workshop I went to, they thought that the way to get people to know each other was to make them behave like children, and I absolutely hate that sort of thing, but I was forced to go to a whole series of these workshops and it just turned me against social networking and social media even more. It was about bonding and creating ideas and it did exactly the opposite for me, I just wanted to shut up and go away. I can be creative in a quiet room on my own, I can be creative around a table with three or four people thinking seriously about the challenge, but to be in a room full of people bouncing around, it isn’t for me.

Here are links to other my previous blog posts about Chris:

1: How Olivetti stitched up Acorn

2: Suing IBM, that Micro Men drama and the Brigthon bombing.

3. Chris’ latest telecare technology, Care with Canary.