Sometimes I wonder if people really understand why they are using any social media platform. Are they there because they were told they should be? They were told it was “cool”? To sell something?
Most people seem to get it. They converse, share and work together to build a new community. The key word in the
term social media is “social” not media, in my opinion. I see the reasons for being there is to engage, interact, build a community and establish a network of new contacts. People are interesting, meeting new people is fascinating. At least that is how I view it.
Over the past few months I have sought to find interesting new people to connect with on Twitter who I might not ordinarily encounter. In doing so I have been asked by some why I followed them, how I found them or what I want from them. I reply – I am curious, I am interested and nothing more than to learn.
The genuine purpose of being in the social media venues for me is to learn, grow and make new friends. That enriches my life. From reading what others say, from having conversations and a variety of interactions I get so much. The ones I often like the most are the people who are the least like me, who bring me insight into a world I might not ever have encountered. Those that share their stories, triumphs and dreams are the ones I find the most fascinating.
There is a lot of talk about transparency in social media. I am not sure how true that transparency is, yet there is really no way to measure or judge another person’s “transparency.” I just choose to accept the people I meet and the stories they share as truths. The inherent trust in the space is the reason why we all tend to do that.
There is something bothering me. So many times I receive a “Thank you for following me!” automatic direct message on Twitter. I usually ignore them, but I do see them and think “they don’t get it do they.” Once in a while they are just too much. Of the 100+ direct messages I receive a day – at least 70% are auto generated in response to a new follow I added. I want to lecture each one, to explain to them what they are missing. I don’t have time and my words may fall on deaf ears.
Lately I seem to be getting a lot of “If you are really human and not a spam-bot please follow me on facebook…”. Why? You sent me an automated message and asked me to follow you somewhere for interaction. If you truly got the whole reason for being here, wouldn’t you take a moment and SEE who just followed you? You send me an automated message and ask me to prove I am human?
I unfollow those people when I notice now. Let’s not forget the “twitter validator” types. If you don’t care to discover people and be here for the right reason, I don’t need to clutter my stream with what you might have to say.
To those I say rethink and reexamine your reasons for being on any social platform. I know I am reconsidering why you are there as I trim you from my stream of friends.
Do you look at it differently? Disagree with me? Totally agree? How do you handle those “engagement failures”?