Social Media Day: Are we ready to be completely open?

Social media has changed our lives. It has not only changed the way we communicate, but the way we connect with one another, consume our news, conduct our work, organize our lives, and much more. So why not celebrate?

Thanks to @Mashable 93 countries staged over 600 Social Media Day parties around the globe. Major cities in the United States had guest speakers engage the crowds in discussion. People tweeted, checked-in and blogged about their experiences. One message on Twitter stood out to me as things came to a close. Kris Colvin (@KrisColvin) wrote, “Closing thought for #smday: I don’t think we’re really ready for the “openness” of social media, as a group of humans.”

We are so quick to comment about everything and everyone we forget to ask ourselves if we should.

Social Media has grown too quickly for its own good. It hit puberty early and wants the keys to the car. We are so quick to comment about everything and everyone we forget to ask ourselves if we should. We are training society to believe that profit and notoriety come from a quick video and a catchy phrase. Not hard work, dedication and experience. 15 minutes of fame will take too long to achieve. People want their 15 seconds of fame now.

Social Media has become less about open minded networking and more about over exposure on a microscopic level. The filter of society that we all live with has been lifted and replaced with a keyboard and nimble fingers.

We need to ask ourselves if we would say what we type face-to-face. Are you being you? Or are you building a persona to get attention, business or increase your followers and friends online?

18 Comments

  1. MatReplyJuly 1, 2010 at 8:52 pm 

    Unfortunately, the saying “mean people suck” is still true even in social media circles.

  2. Joshua GarityReplyJuly 2, 2010 at 8:05 am 

    Agree completely Mat. Reminds me of the early 90s when all we had was ICQ and chat rooms. Everyone would call each other out, rant, name call, etc. It was like kindergarten :)

  3. Jim RaffelReplyJuly 5, 2010 at 8:57 am 

    Joshua, Your last paragraph really says it all. Everyone should carefully read those questions and make sure they know what their answers are. I'm not sure any use of Twitter and social media is “wrong.” I will agree it's the wild wild west in many ways so you have to look out for and protect your own interests but that's not a bad thing. Learning to filter messages you are not interested in is a good life skill. I find myself transferring it to face to face interaction as well. I seriously have a mental unfollow and block button I sometimes use. I hope those I interact with have or are developing the same skills. Let's not put muzzles on people's voices but instead decide when not to listen.

  4. Joshua GarityReplyJuly 5, 2010 at 9:13 am 

    Couldn't agree more with you Jim. Everyone is entitled to their opinions and should be able to speak freely using social media how they deem fit. Many of our definitions on using Social Media may differ from person to person as well. Which is only natural.

    After reading Kris' tweets about people really going out of their way to cause problems it becomes more of an issue of etiquette I guess. Naturally, a lot of them may be that same way in person. But there is this shield of anonymity that we all have behind a keyboard and monitor and it takes personal responsibility to respect everyone else to some degree.

  5. Jim RaffelReplyJuly 5, 2010 at 3:57 pm 

    Joshua, Your last paragraph really says it all. Everyone should carefully read those questions and make sure they know what their answers are. I’m not sure any use of Twitter and social media is “wrong.” I will agree it’s the wild wild west in many ways so you have to look out for and protect your own interests but that’s not a bad thing. Learning to filter messages you are not interested in is a good life skill. I find myself transferring it to face to face interaction as well. I seriously have a mental unfollow and block button I sometimes use. I hope those I interact with have or are developing the same skills. Let’s not put muzzles on people’s voices but instead decide when not to listen.

  6. Joshua GarityReplyJuly 5, 2010 at 4:13 pm 

    Couldn’t agree more with you Jim. Everyone is entitled to their opinions and should be able to speak freely using social media how they deem fit. Many of our definitions on using Social Media may differ from person to person as well. Which is only natural. nnAfter reading Kris’ tweets about people really going out of their way to cause problems it becomes more of an issue of etiquette I guess. Naturally, a lot of them may be that same way in person. But there is this shield of anonymity that we all have behind a keyboard and monitor and it takes personal responsibility to respect everyone else to some degree.

  7. MariReplyJuly 5, 2010 at 11:14 am 

    Joshua: Our introduction through social media's Twitter is an illustration of precisely why I find value in participating. We are now acquainted – even if only via the expression of our common interests – and at our own discretion can interpret the appropriateness/interest level of each other's comments. Twitter interaction and blog comments function like a voice message shortcut: quicker and easier to establish a direct connection, but certainly no substitute for a face-to-face relationship. I agree with you and @raffel (Jim) that social media's unlimited availability presents new challenges to those who lose sight of what's appropriate to post. Yet I remain ever aware of the subjectivity of appropriateness and prefer to marvel at the many ways people choose to publicly represent themselves.

  8. Joshua GarityReplyJuly 5, 2010 at 12:04 pm 

    Great thoughts Mari! I agree with you beyond 100% on the benefit of Twitter if possible :) I have gained friends, business and insight in a much more condensed period of time than would have otherwise been possible.

    When used properly you can stand to gain endlessly from Social Media. I always reflect back to Jim's post “The Help Others Manifesto” http://jimraffel.com/2010/04/20/the-help-others-manifesto/ . It is a PERFECT example of how positive thinking and communication can change your life. It's so good we should convince Jim to write a book about that in detail. :)

  9. Jim RaffelReplyJuly 5, 2010 at 12:12 pm 

    The book will happen when the book is supposed to happen :) One of the things I have learned on this Journey is don't force things. I can't put this perfectly into words but I'm not supposed to write “the book” yet. I'll know when the time is right.

  10. Jim RaffelReplyJuly 5, 2010 at 12:13 pm 

    well….it was the kindergarten years of social media….I think those of us succeeding in social media cut our teeth then.

  11. Joshua GarityReplyJuly 5, 2010 at 12:16 pm 

    Timing is everything in life and I couldn't agree more. We can push and push all we want but life plays out how it will. Some things are just out of our control.

  12. Joshua GarityReplyJuly 5, 2010 at 12:19 pm 

    Being at the forefront of things and making mistakes early is key. Then no one sees us when we fall. Only when we pick ourselves up and stand tall.

  13. MariReplyJuly 5, 2010 at 6:14 pm 

    Joshua: Our introduction through social media’s Twitter is an illustration of precisely why I find value in participating. We are now acquainted u2013 even if only via the expression of our common interests u2013 and at our own discretion can interpret the appropriateness/interest level of each other’s comments. Twitter interaction and blog comments function like a voice message shortcut: quicker and easier to establish a direct connection, but certainly no substitute for a face-to-face relationship. I agree with you and @raffel (Jim) that social media’s unlimited availability presents new challenges to those who lose sight of what’s appropriate to post. Yet I remain ever aware of the subjectivity of appropriateness and prefer to marvel at the many ways people choose to publicly represent themselves.

  14. Joshua GarityReplyJuly 5, 2010 at 7:04 pm 

    Great thoughts Mari! I agree with you beyond 100% on the benefit of Twitter if possible :) I have gained friends, business and insight in a much more condensed period of time than would have otherwise been possible.

    When used properly you can stand to gain endlessly from Social Media. I always reflect back to Jim’s post “The Help Others Manifesto” http://jimraffel.com/2010/04/20/the-help-others-manifesto/ . It is a PERFECT example of how positive thinking and communication can change your life. It’s so good we should convince Jim to write a book about that in detail. :)

  15. Jim RaffelReplyJuly 5, 2010 at 7:12 pm 

    The book will happen when the book is supposed to happen :) One of the things I have learned on this Journey is don’t force things. I can’t put this perfectly into words but I’m not supposed to write “the book” yet. I’ll know when the time is right.

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