Today’s prompt: What I’ve learned in social media.
I could branch off in so many directions with this topic. If you’re a new reader and don’t know much about me, I am a social media and email marketing strategist—so social media is my thing.
I’m going to take the personal approach and give a broad overview of the things I’ve learned from social media in the past few years.
· Sharing is more than what we learned in kindergarten
· Everything is immediate and we are impatient
· No one really needs cell phone minutes
· Everyone needs to have Facebook
· Friendships have been ruined
· Great friends can be made
Huh? And now I’ll elaborate.
Sharing is more than what we learned in kindergarten.
As children, we learned to take turns, share toys and not be selfish. As adults in the online world, we share everything from what we just did, what we are about to do and what a brand is promoting.
Of course, there is over-sharing and we’ve all done it. Nobody really wants to know or see what you had for dinner unless you’re a professional chef and have professional culinary photos taken, like restaurants.
Kids are growing up in a world where it’s normal for parents to take a photo and upload it to Facebook within seconds to share with all of their friends and family. I wouldn’t doubt if someone’s house was on fire and they tweeted and posted that it was happening before they planned their escape—sharing has been engrained in us, which leads me to my next point . . .
Everything is immediate and we are impatient
Subconsciously, we all have to post about something the second it happens or is about to happen. Little do we know, no one is sitting on Facebook patiently waiting for our next update. If we post about an event a few minutes or even hours after it happens, a lot of people might not notice. There’s nothing wrong with doing either, I do both, it’s just an observation that we live in a world of urgency.
If you’re a social media strategist and/or blogger, you think like me, you’re always thinking ahead. You may have a status written in your mind before an event happens. You might be writing and editing the perfect status in your mind while you’re taking a shower, or planning the photos you’re going to take and post on Instagram. That’s the planner and the social media strategist in me.
No one really needs cell phone minutes
Let’s be honest—nobody really calls anybody anymore unless a text conversation is getting confusing, it’s work related or you’re driving. There are pros and cons with this. Put yourself in these shoes:
Pros of sharing on social media
You just get engaged, promoted at work, offered a new job, or say yes to the dress—you text your close friends and then post on social media. Notice, you didn’t call your closest friends, you just sent a mass text.
1. the receivers of the mass text are a little upset because it was a mass text
2. the receivers of the mass text would have appreciated a call
3. there are a few people that found that news out on Facebook that you should’ve included in that mass text
I can’t help but admit I get a little nervous anytime a family member calls, I always wonder who died? There have been plenty of announcements on Facebook that I have pretended not to see because I at least deserved a text about the news before the random ass people you met in college that you probably haven’t talked to in 10 years found out.
I realize you can’t call everyone, but you can send a text to whomever you want, there is no limit. So, if I haven’t congratulated you or given a shit, either I didn’t notice or I’m pretending not to notice because it’s pure bullshit that you let everyone know via Facebook.
When I found out I was pregnant I called and texted, or told in person, all of my closest friends and family. I made sure that no one found out on Facebook that would be hurt by finding out on Facebook. I also didn’t send a mass text, though I did copy and paste and send the same text to everyone individually.
Social media is slowly ruining old school relationships. I understand the world is evolving, but I still call my best friend and we often video chat—it’s not all via texting. You need to see your friends or hear the emotion in their voice. Let’s not live in a silent, digital world.
Next time you’re about to post some news on Facebook, think about all of the people who could be hurt that that was their way of finding out. Which leads me to my next point . . .
Everyone needs to have Facebook
Yes, I said it. Facebook is necessary to keep up with the times. We’re all so busy these days, whether we try to be or not, that we cannot possibly call and text everyone all day long. I started blogging to keep our families up to date on my pregnancy, our lives and Brady. It’s a lot easier to share photos and stories via social media. I still call and text updates before posting online, but it’s often okay to post photos, videos and updates without calling or texting. It’s fun to keep up with friends and family via Facebook. We get to see what people are doing on a daily basis and how their children are growing, what they looked like at their wedding and etc.
Facebook is also the best way to keep up with your favorite brands.
Friendships have been ruined because of Facebook
Not only have they been ruined because of above reasons, friendships have ended because of misinterpreted statuses. Before social media, when we emailed each other, a lot of things were misinterpreted because of tone of voice assumptions—it still happens, especially a lot at work.
We all have to assume the best intentions and not assume everything is about us no matter how hard it is.
Great friends can be made
I have made new friends via Twitter and the blogosphere, and they are some of the best friends I’ve ever had. I’ve met awesome people at social media conferences. I’ve reconnected with people from my childhood and gotten really close with people I wasn’t so close to in junior high and high school.
Hiding behind a computer and expressing emotions is usually a lot easier than a face to face conversation, and that’s fine, as long as it’s not always 100% digital. It’s been great to get to know some people via Facebook and Twitter, we’ve grown a lot closer than we ever would. I’m friends with people now I didn’t really think I would ever be friends with. I’m great friends with someone I danced with as a child, but we never saw each other growing up and reconnected on MySpace (yes, I’m talking about Loni at Baby P Makes Three).
I’ve learned a lot about myself, my friends, people I didn’t use to be close to and a lot about brands. Social media networks are amazing tools for networking, sharing and life in general, but please keep the face to face relationships alive.
So, let’s connect on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram (@MotoWife) and get to know each other!
I want to know what you, a non-social media strategist, have learned from social media - let me know by clicking comments.