Thursday, February 24, 2011

What the Hell is Social Media Anyway?

So my little experiment has landed me here. Social Media! A year ago I cursed everything but Linkedin as trash, rumor mills, enabling evil. I was not on Facebook. I kept my kids off Facebook(or at least tried). Twitter was a fad. From a personal standpoint I saw no reasons to publish my personal "stuff". Most interactions I heard about regarding social media always lead down the same road, he said, she said. "I can't believe he/she posted that". It was mind numbing to me. I took a stance that the younger generation was socially inapt. The did not know how to communicate. They just sat there and pushed buttons. When we were kids we were out in the streets, playing. We policed ourselves. Our fights and disagreements usually stayed on the playground. What happened on the street, stayed on the street. Good or bad, I am not quite sure.At 41 I am aware of the generational divide and how it is gifted through the years. From music to fashion, we all can recall being involved in discussions surrounding "the kids of today". After 6 months or so of interaction on various social media platforms I can at least admit to this; it is pure and simple innovation.

Social Media platforms are nothing more than a direct reflection of society. If your an asshole in real life, more than likely you will be a perceived asshole on social media platforms. If your real, present and open, you will be reflected accordingly. If your trying to make a fast buck, it will be flushed out. Sure, there are some example of people who may not be who or what they seems, but that is just in life as well. The wealth and speed of information is exciting. The platform for small business to grow their business is overwhelming. I have come to the conclusion that if you use simple principles to guide you on any platform you will gain a trusted resource. These are the same principles we use in life.

  • If it seems to good to be true, it is.
  • People are people, they make mistakes
  • If it is automated, it is cheap
  • Greed is Greed is Greed
  • Speak with conviction or defer to someone who can
  • If you would not want someone to judge you on it, don't do it
  • If you could not follow up with a one on one conversation, then don't start it
  • The amount of followers, friend or network members is irrelevant, how much their engaged is
So, to close, I have become that Dad who tweets. I now use Facebook to communicate about things I am passionate about. I use LinkedIn the same way. I am not trying to promote anything other than me. Yes, I said it. I am promoting myself. Is that selfish? No. I am branding myself just as you would do on a resume, only broader, deeper and in real time. We are all responsible for ourselves. Our thoughts, passions and beliefs are to be expressed. What better way to do that then these platforms. I gain just as much from logging my thoughts via a blog as I do from reading someone's expressions of their ideas or passions. Now I have a way of passing them on instantly. 

Do you want me to help you compose a tweet? 

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