Or Why I Love Social Media.
This, unlike many articles on social media, isn’t some post about how terrible it is or how we are all turning into mush. In fact, it is quite the opposite. Because, although that mush theory may be true to some extent, there are so many awesome things happening right now that it seems foolish to only dwell on the downsides of this new social landscape. It’s a bit like complaining about the seats at a Beatles concert.
Social media has completely changed the way we interact with one another (this is not news) and has created an entirely new system by which to meet, date, and connect with others. The ability to talk to anyone at anytime creates equal potential for good as it does bad. I’m gonna focus on what is awesome about this.
Like any good thing, it’s only good if done properly (ever tried a Totino’s Pizza that’s been cooked in the microwave? Not good). Social media gives us the opportunity to connect with any number of people at any given time. This grants each and every one of us tremendous influence. Hundreds, or sometimes thousands, of people see every thing that we say, post, or like. Take a moment to think about that… It really is an awesome power we yield and one worth taking a moment to consider.
Social media has brought about dramatic cultural change, funded countless humanitarian efforts, and helped the dreams of small business owners come true. It’s tremendous when you think about how influential a simple video posted to Facebook can be.
So take it seriously…. kind of.
By take it seriously, I do not mean you should retweet CSPAN (please do not retweet CSPAN). I mean you should seriously think about what you want to get out of social media. For many, it is about keeping in touch with family. For others, it’s about sharing your lifestyle with others. For some, it’s just a nuisance. Whatever your opinion, you’re there so you might as well enjoy it.
Taking time to think about draws you to social media will help you decide what you should and should not post. Face it, we all know that one person that posts each and every thing they read, see, or hear about. No one wants to be that guy. Don’t be that guy.
I am not here to tell you what to post or or tell you what not to post. I just think we all need to take a big step back from the computer screen and maybe think twice about sharing that BuzzFeed quiz that told us which Disney Princess we are (I am Ariel).
All that said, don’t take it too seriously. After all, memes are what feed our souls and I can’t get enough of those Fast Company infographics (nerd alert).
Embrace it. Use it to build friendships. Use it to share ideas. Use it to influence. Use it to make connections.
Whatever your goal with social media, always remember that it’s not about you. It’s about community. It’s about starting a conversation that we all get to be a part of. It can be extremely valuable and it’s time we treated as such.
*stay tuned for a post about everything wrong with social media.