Social Media can be defined and characterized in many ways, including a plethora of permutations. Taken in its entirety, there is positive value, negative value, and no value. Simply ‘killing time’ and other uses may fall into more than one category.
Part 1: This essay has not been fully mapped out, but it will be an extended discussion, in multiple parts.
I have my own quotation, which I first used, in reference to unnecessary gadgets on websites.
“Just because you can do it, doesn’t mean it’s a good idea.”
Years later, the quotation has become a more universal reference in my lexicon, both high-tech and low-tech. Social media appears to be at center stage in my repetition of the quotation.
Despite my fascination with technology, I am not an early-adopter. I don’t have the latest smart phone or laptop. On the flip side, I’m certainly no technophobe. I’m far more interested in the communication of content; the messages transmitted, posted, emailed, texted, etc.,.. how they are perceived, understood… and the results (immediate > viral).
Social Media Dynamics
TRUTH: Nothing you post, email, text, update, etc., is private. Post it, and delete it within seconds; you are too late. There is a term for that: DIGITAL PERMANENCE.
TRUTH: The written word has no tone. There may be intended tone… humor, sarcasm, joking, political correctness, or seriousness are just a few. Which takes us to the next point…
TRUTH: No matter how clear you believe your message is, it will be understood by a person or persons. Even if it is understood, as intended, some people will agree, disagree, or just find the message uninteresting.
Yo! Facebook is not a Diary
LURKING: That’s the term for people who read your messages, but don’t necessarily answer or comment.
TRUTH: You have no idea how many people are lurking on Facebook (for example).
EXCEPTIONS ARE: Those who click the LIKE button, post a comment, or answer you privately. The LIKE button is, at best, an imperfect expression of sentiment.
Those of us who use social media for business, often voice thoughts and opinions about business experiences. In a moment of anger, for good reason or bad, it is tempting to condescend, deride, or put down a prospect or client (I plead guilty to having done this and I know it’s not an exclusive club).
Our pointed comment may cause discussion, generate judgments about our comment and us. Though it’s the lurkers who may be most important. They may simply question our ethics, judgment, self-importance, or a variety of other factors.
You cannot measure how often they will repeat or share a spontaneous comment, attributed to you or me. Some who read it, won’t think anything of it. Others who know you, may think, “No big deal, that’s just Joe being Joe.”
And others may read your words and decide: “I was considering doing business with him/her. After reading such an inappropriate comment, I wouldn’t do business with them… period.”
People will judge you… thumbs up or thumbs down. The people who give you thumbs up, will tell you… even publicly. Of the ones who give you thumbs down, a few will post publicly, most won’t tell you; they’ll just go away. And if asked about you, are unlikely to give you a raving endorsement.
REPEAT AFTER ME: The written word has no tone. So your remarks may be interpreted in many ways; not necessarily as you intended.
OPINION: I am not the ultimate arbiter of Social Media Etiquette; however, due to the nature of my business, I observe massive amounts of online behavior. Again, I am not immune from mistakes. None of us are flawless; however, fewer incidents of offending others, injuring our own reputations, or simply making noise with spammy comments would be a good thing.
Your comments, here… in agreement, disagreement, or presenting other thoughts (not expressed in this post) are both welcome and appreciated.
Do you know some who would benefit from this post? Please pass it on or share it on social media platforms that you use.
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