Last night, I had dinner with friends, one of whom is adamantly anti-social media. He used the words time-wasting, life-sucking and personality-diminishing to describe one of the essential duties of my livelihood and the mainstay I use every day to communicate with my family both locally and far away. He certainly is opinionated, almost to a fault at times.
At first, I was a little offended. But, after a while of mulling over his comments, I realized he had a point. Many people connect to anyone and everyone whether they have had a connection with them at all. Facebook has cheapened the meaning of the word “friend”. Most connections made online are generic at best.
If you’ve seen the movie, “The Social Network”, you know that according to the film, Mark Zuckerberg created Facebook to bring the social scene of college online. He became the B.M.O.C. (Big Man on Campus), but sacrificed of his one true friendship in the process. The film paints the picture that Zuckerberg believes that people do not really care about personal connections. Money and popularity are what is most important.
Personally, I believe most people on social media are looking to share information about their lives and connect with people in a crazy-hectic world. As social media professionals, we need to demonstrate what social media can be—a tool for building relationships and making authentic connections. Don’t just rely upon electronic devices as your only means of communication.
I enjoy a post on my wall or an invitation to an event through LinkedIn, but there is just something much more personal about a tangible thank you card, hearing someone’s voice or better yet, an in-person visit. Hugs are good too.
Authenticity, relationship, connection, and friend have become buzzwords. I would like to challenge social media pros and users alike to post with purpose rather than broadcasting their latest random thought. Bring back the personality in communication.
There is too much clutter. Think about what is important to your audience. If you don’t give a darn, why should they?