The world of social media isn’t necessarily social. To many it serves as a comfort blanket where it shields from being public.
Social media doesn’t change anything, it’s another method of talking with a long-term goal to build conversation, interaction and connection. However, it also becomes a lazy route to think that all roads lead to Rome (or all roads lead to Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ etc). Do we really think that the world of social media will help us lead better lives?
What the plethora of platforms show is that it becomes easy to hide behind a faceless product and then dictate a message to your audience. A recent example I seem to be finding on LinkedIn over the past few weeks are direct messages that say:
“I’d like to request 10 seconds of your time to leave me a quick rating here:
Thank you in advance!”
A number of the requests are from people I have little relationship with, but by pressing a button to send to a host of email contacts becomes a warm duvet that you can feel assured that you’re work is done. By sending a templated message with a sign-off of ‘thank you in advance,’ lets everyone know that the individuality you once had is now replaced by a ready-made email in a tone of voice that isn’t yours.
Communication has shifted in a world that is now connection invitation overload. Our challenge is to find our own voice, be human and become comfortable with it. The social media platforms are fantastic at building relationships and conversations, it’s just a case of using them in a way that positions you as a leader in your marketplace.
Taking warmth in connectivity but being shielded from being social and representing who you really are, is a recipe to merely blend in with everyone else. Take a look at your Twitter timeline and look at those who are selling their product and dictating a message, as opposed to adding value and information to those that are part of your community.
People do business with those they know, like and trust. This hasn’t changed in hundreds of years, the only thing that is different today is that we’re not limited geographically.
It’s time to kick that warm security blanket off, be present, stand for something and champion being normal again.
Image: Courtesy of Flickr – sewtobed