Social Media Creates Human Beings 2.0
Social media is a wild and fanciful world. It really is another planet. We have our online personas, there are businesses, and brands, celebrities, and even social media robots (maybe they are people, I can’t tell they don’t respond :]). The online world of social media is much like the real world it has structures and rules. Since I have been growing in the social media world and since I started up my SocialMagnets blog, I have learned a lot by just observing digital people. I am a people watcher in real life and the digital world allows a window for you to observe. What is interesting is that social media has made me a better human being. Here are 3 valuable life lessons I learned from using social media.
#1 Actions are words – We have all heard it said that a picture is worth a thousand words, well I would say then that an action is worth at least 20. Those 20 words are enough to make a sentence and that sentence is the interpretation of what your actions mean to someone. Sometimes we take actions that are small to us, but huge to someone else. You know this when you see the reactions you get to a post you share, a comment you made, or an act you took on social media that was really appreciated by someone else. Sometimes no action is worth 20 words as well because we create a label for that person. The label may say, “This is not a person”, “This person is a snob”, or “This person doesn’t care”. I have people who I have shared one post of theirs and the appreciation they give is almost over the top, I have other people who I have shared their posts 70 times and not even a thank you. Forgetting to say thank you may be pissing someone off and now they have a label for your profile picture, “Jerk”. Your actions or non-actions are speaking online…… what are they saying about you?
#2 Be there – Social media is about relationships only they are digital relationships so it is kind of easier to see them. You can measure them in ways we don’t measure relationships in real life. In the world of social media you take an action and then you see a result. One thing I can say I have learned from social media is that relationships take effort, consistent effort. They take effort to grow, they take effort to maintain, and you can see what happens to them if you don’t maintain them. Being there means if you have friends you need to spend time with them, you need to keep your real relationships with friends and family from going ‘inactive’. See, people fail to post a ‘status update’ in real life for years. They aren’t connecting with people to maintain their relationships. If you want to have a strong network you need to be there for all the people who know you both online and in the real world.
#3 Give first – One of the greatest lessons I have learned so far from social media is the power of giving first. It is amazing how people respond to someone they don’t know who gives of themselves when they don’t have to. If you want to develop relationships you need to give first. How do you get followers, you follow others. How do you get retweeted, you retweet others. How do you get people to comment on your posts, you comment on their posts. Social media has proven again and again that giving is how you get. What a great lesson to learn and a hard one for people in our society. Selfishness is the standard in the real world and that simply doesn’t work online. You will get nowhere by spamming people or trying to force people to care about what you are saying or doing. You will get everywhere by helping and promoting others first. You won’t even have to ask for them to do the same. What an awesome environment and what a great place to be. I have to say I have met some of the most thoughtful and giving people through social media and I hope I emulate this same thing.
Human beings 2.0 is about taking what we learn from the social media world where our actions become our labels, and where being there and being aware of each relationship is top of mind, and where giving first and being thoughtful leaves room for others to help us and lift us up. I remember when the buzzword was ‘web 2.0′, but if you do this right you could become a ‘human 2.0′. If you pay attention to what works online when it comes to relationships when all you have to work with is a profile picture and a name, then you can apply what you learn to the real world. It doesn’t take long in social media to see who the superstars are and to figure out why. You can become a better human being if you just pay attention to how things work.
I just want to thank everyone who I have had the pleasure of meeting and especially to those I have created relationships with through the various social media platforms. Each of you have taught me and inspired me to be a better human being. I can’t name them all, not even close, but I will name a couple. @osakasaul Saul you are a giver and taught me how to stop talking and start listening. You taught me how the most important people are in my ‘mention’ stream because you support those who are supporting you. You taught me about giving first and you are one of the best supporters online, I hope people support you more because you are a connector and a great giver online. @MQTodd Michael Todd is an example of someone who really goes after a platform and whose there giving of himself and putting himself out there so much it is amazing. He is the standard as far as I am concerned with how to attack a platform and create a presence. @knikkolette Now here is someone who exemplifies a thoughtful social media person. I love how she operates. @fondalo great content and on top of engaging the people who share his content. @ezyblogger Now this guy has great content and super nice. You are the best Roseli! @leaderwest he really shows appreciation. Thanks Jim. @nealschaffer Again doing things right all the way around. I will have to do a separate post about what I have found since I have been doing social media because there are a lot of people who deserve mention. I hope this post and social media is teaching you how to be a human being 2.0