Social Media: The Great Equalizer or Back to High School

by Ron on July 8, 2009

coolkids

By Ron Miller with Julie Roads

I came across a post today that got me thinking about the role of social media. The writer found social media tedious, felt it was more about popularity than being social. I took exception and wrote a long comment about the power of social media and all that it offers us – whoever we are. But when I spoke to Julie (or more accurately IMd her), she pointed out that maybe the writer had a point. Maybe there is a darker side of social media that’s more like high school.

So, we thought we’d look at both sides together:

Positive:

  • You meet people you would never have met before
  • You share information
  • You help people out and they help you
  • You have collective moments with seemingly total strangers
  • You learn, grow and expand (your business & resources) by listening and talking to a variety of people and perspectives
  • Every connection is the planting of a seed that can lead anywhere from a referral to a job to a friendship

Negative:

  • Spammers
  • People who think it is a popularity contest
  • Shameless self-promoters
  • Mean people
  • The blatant display of friend, follower, rank, connection numbers

Maybe it’s both and it depends on your social circle. Remember as Chris Brogan says, it’s about being humble and helpful and sharing. If you don’t see that, maybe you need to rethink your approach to social media, change your attitude, tweak your game plan …or maybe you just need to connect with better people.

You can, you know. Just take your eyes off the cool kids table and sit somewhere new every day.

Image credit: TheeErin

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 cassie July 8, 2009 at 9:57 am

I think many people focus on the negative aspects and many focus on the positive aspects. It is nice to see someone look at both sides!

2 Ron July 8, 2009 at 10:08 am

Hi Cassie:
Thanks for the nice comment. The post really developed from the conversation I was alluding to with Julie. I was seeing social media through “rose colored glasses” and Julie pointed out it wasn’t all positive and it developed from there. So glad you liked the post and thanks for leaving a comment.

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