Social Media Addict? Go Break Your Own Leg!
By Todd Murphy | December 21st, 2010
Subtitle: Go Break Your Own Leg!
After a short conversation with a friend and fellow Downtown Omaha business inhabitant, Jeff Slobotski, I found myself considering possible social networking trends for the coming year, 2011. In line with my #samerules #newtools philosophy, Jeff and I had been discussing the importance of striking a balance within the virtual living of social networks. One needs to balance themselves on platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and even Linkedin for the professionals, by actually getting out and participating in life so you can contribute original content to the living fabric of these social networks. Always at the top among lists of “how to be successful in social media” is the need for compelling content.
A potential downside that may develop into a trend in the next year, is that of social media addiction. You can find plenty of opinions on this newest addiction, and like other activities in which people over indulge, living solely within your social network(s) will have fundamental problems for some people (#samerules).
In my news monitoring and media analysis role at Universal Information Services we’re seeing patterns develop where people are simply living vicariously through others within their social networks, without bringing new value to their network. The incidents of retweeting, rather than posting new content, is accelerating at an exponential pace. On Facebook you’ll notice more people only taking the time to “Like This” rather than posting a newly formed thought, or comment, to a specific post. It seems that the great power of social networks also has the power to let us check out from actually doing something, and simply observing what others do. Is this healthy for you in mind and body? Is it healthy for your social network?
In an ironic twist, I chose the above subtitle to demonstrate the notion that be it good or bad, you must own your own experience…then let us know your thoughts on that experience. Whether for business or personal, social media and social networks are only effective when we have an understanding of the person behind the information. People do want to know you, your opinions, and what you can teach them through your social networks. Stated differently, go out and break your own leg.
I can tweet about how great skiing was until I broke my leg. I can even post pictures of the ski patrol, my cast, and even the look on my wife’s face. But truthfully, I’m glad it was my leg…a real life experience I own and can appropriately share with others.
Now I don’t want to break a leg all the time, but I do want to have enough real life experiences so I can contribute compelling content to my social networks. One must be able to seed their posts, comments, and tweets with interesting thoughts that come from their life or business. So metaphorically, go break your own leg…and let us know all about it. Your social network engagement will go up, your credibility will go up, and best of all, you’ll see more of the World.
(Disclosure Statement: I did not actually break my own leg. Yes, it made for a better title than, “I broke my collar bone when I tripped over the soccer ball and hit a wall”. Next post, “Credibility and Content: Does the truth still work?”) Leave your comments and links to related topics. Your network will thank you.
Great post, Todd! People may argue that there’s already so much content out there that they don’t need to add to the noise. However, these are people who haven’t cultured a niche audience and who haven’t discovered how to provide unique value to however many may be paying attention. This post does a great job of reminding us to be content creators as well as curators and sharers. I’ll be “sharing” this with my network for sure!
All good points you make. The beauty of curating your own content is that if you find you have too much “noise”, eliminate the noise makers. I follow far fewer people than follow me. That doesn’t say anything important about my content, only that unless I find your content of interest, I won’t add you to my network. Choices: Just like on television. If you don’t like what is one, change the channel. #samerules #newtools
The same applies to vendors. You can learn what Universal Information Services does at https://universal-info.com. However, if you don’t see what you need, change the channel to a different vendor. We all must own our own experiences. The rules have not change about how we control the tools we use, only the tools have changed. Thanks for the comment!
Thanks Todd! Trying to figure out a way to tweet an idea about @FourSquare as a tool kit for the digital existentialist…
Ahh, I see. But what is the point in all of this? “A train approaches…”
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