un-social media

26 Jan

It’s no secret that I am heavily involved in social media. I tweet. I facebook. I (rarely) flickr. I (sometimes) blog. My major research paper is about civic engagement through Twitter. This tends to make me a huge cheerleader for social media and computer-mediated communication. I understand there are pros and cons, and that all channels of social media are mere tools in the communicator’s arsenal – they aren’t solutions in and of themselves.

Recently, I was talking to a co-worker and fellow communications professional and mentioned she’s on Twitter, but she’s only tweeted a couple of times, and she probably won’t tweet anymore because she thinks it’s a fad. After this part of our conversation, I had to pause briefly to pick the remnants of my brain off of the train platform.

I was on MySpace. I was even on OkCupid for a while. I’ve skipped through failed (or less prevalent and mainstream) ways of connecting with people on the Internet. Social media may or may not be a fad, but who cares? As a communications professional, shouldn’t we be aware of these channels and their possibilities and challenges? I met one of my close friends on MySpace, another couple good friends on OkCupid, and I’ve met a lot of people (and connected with many more) from Twitter. If I had thought this way of communicating was “just a fad”, I would have missed out on these spectacular people and the good they bring to my life. I’d be slower in learning about current events. I’d miss out on great events in my city and even better restaurants.

Connecting with people and telling my story has given me great friends, and it has helped me become a more confident, better informed, communicator. And that, my friends, is more than just a passing fad.

3 Responses to “un-social media”

  1. mandy January 26, 2011 at 6:10 pm #

    I agree with you, I’ve met some fantastic friends through blogging and definitely connect with people through twitter and facebook. If I hadn’t joined these fads I would have missed out on people I didnt even know I was missing.

  2. MelissaOklahoma January 27, 2011 at 9:22 pm #

    ah social media and networking… those terms are still so strange to me even though, like you, i’m obviously heavily involved in. it just sounds so “creepy” to me. i don’t know why, ha! regardless, i’m happy to have it… i too love meeting so many great and wonderful people through social media.

  3. Shop Girl* January 28, 2011 at 12:10 pm #

    I completely agree with you–I’ve met some fabulous people and made some wonderful connections through social media! I don’t believe it’s just a fad. I think it’s really the beginning of a whole new communications era.

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