When trying to fit the 12 (with the space) character word “social media” into a tweet I paused mid-word and thought, “are we social?”
Social media, social bookmarking, social networking and all of those other socials makes “social” the catchphrase of the moment. Here we are, bragging about how hyper-social we are, but I ask, are we even social?
When my friend Mark Hawker asked his Twitter followers to define Web 2.0 in five words, I responded, ” Web 2.0: social connectivity and responsibilty online.” There again is that catch phrase: social. But what is “social”? And is social media, in the way we use it, social?
marked or characterized by mutual intercourse, friendliness, or geniality; enjoyed, taken, spent, etc., in company with others, esp. with those of a similar class or kindred interests.
Social media creates niches and offers the opportunity for discussions. So why would I even wonder if social media is social? If it’s not the medium, then it must be the users. Are social media users not being social?
I often am surprised at some social media users. His timeline is full of retweets or her Facebook is filled with apps and endless bar pictures. Where are people truly communicating? You know, sharing and exchanging ideas?
I find that with some users it’s all terribly one way. It’s shouting from a soap box, “Hello! I have pictures of my cat! I am no longer in a relationship! RT: Breaking News!”
At first the person draws an audience, but after a while we walk away disinterested.
You don’t want to take a breath and discuss how cute your cat is. You don’t have time to keep me updated on the breaking news. You just don’t care who knows when you’re in or out of a relationship.
That’s not an exchange of ideas; that is you yelling at me.
A part of being social is taking the time to listen.
Social is you saying, “I read this, what do you think?” and you waiting to hear a response.
It’s an exchange of ideas. It’s inviting someone to be in a discussion with you.
Are you being social?
What do you think? Leave me a comment – I’m listening.