Steve Woods

Emerging from the Social Media Chrysalis

In What Day is it? on September 10, 2009 at 10:24 am

“The real friend is he or she who can share all our sorrows and double our joys.” – Barry C. Forbes

Share your tweets!

Share your tweets!

Today is Swap Ideas Day, a day to be set aside to share important ideas with colleagues, friends and family. I suppose this is to be an emotional restart to the relationships we hold with those around us.  Hopefully we live our lives in such a fashion as to force a restart from time to time…. Hopefully we occasionally examine the value of the word Share.

To be sure, paddling our way through today’s social media has shown us the value of sharing ideas far and wide. Let me exhort you to lend greater creative effort to riding the stream, to open yourself up further to critical evaluation, feedback, and even loving acceptance from others.

What do you say with your social media accounts? How much do you share of yourself and why? We all have the person we still follow or is an online friend, who tweets the mundane details of life, frequently overstepping boundaries we decided not to cross long ago.  Oh to be sure we enjoy visiting sites such as http://www.twaxed.com which logs the more interestingly odd, mundane and downright bizarre Twitter posters. Their lives are social media train wrecks in slow motion, and we read their entries with eyes half-closed. But we still read them.

How do you share successfully in social media? Those that post in social media and those that consume the content are in one sort of relationship or other, with some bleed-through:

Sit down, Shut up, and Hold on: The most basic relationship on social media is the one wherein you consume the postings of others. You find people and befriend or follow them, and stay in the shadows listening. You hear, but you do not contribute, other than as another number in the follow or friend column.

The Lurker: You listen intently, and upon rare occurrence come out of the shadows and suddenly reply.  This is the social media equivalent of standing next to a group in a lively discussion, and suddenly laughing at a pithy comment. It can be off-putting to those who did not know you were listening in. It is not true engagement in the conversation or in the lives of those that were conversing.

The Social Media Butterfly: From the start, you say hello, introduce yourself, begin talking about yourself, listen to what others say, and provide feedback whenever you can or think appropriate. You engage the group and share yourself as openly as they do. The conversation is two-way, and you are no longer outside the group, but are instead an integral part of it.

The Shouter: You post information, whether rarely or often, but do not reply to those that reply or retweet what you share.  Rather than taking part in a lively group conversation, you have planted yourself in the middle of the party, drink firmly in hand, and simply shout statements for all to hear.  Have a good time with that…

To be sure, I could continue the classification further…the Constant Quoter, the Sweet Retweeter, the Salesperson, etc.  Our personalities determine the comfort zone we have in social media. If you are quiet in life, you will be quiet here.  If you don’t care what others think in life, you won’t likely care here either.

Today, on this day, examine ways to break free from your social media chrysalis. Do you speak up when you feel for someone who is sharing their personal trials? Do you congratulate someone who shares a wonderful moment that occurred in their day? Do you share in the sorrows and double the joys?

Speak up and do so often! Do this for me, because I am following you, and I want to know more about you. I want to know when you have had a bad day, whether your lunch was great (or got stolen from the office fridge,) whether you think that barista is cute, if your birthday was a total let-down, whether or not you wish you had stayed in college, if you cried at a stupid movie, if you are overworked and underappreciated, in absolute love or totally afraid. Take (and share!) Twitpics of your dog, your cat, your car, yourself, your shoes, the sunset, the moon (change the aperture settings please!) and anything else that moves you.

When you begin to receive compliments, take them to heart and realize it means you are cared about, that someone here enjoys you. That’s it. You. And take the time to talk, to really share you. We’ll listen.

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