The more I look at the Social Media space and the more I play around in it the more confused I become.
The Personal Network
On one level, it’s supposed to be about being social. You know, sharing personal moments in your life that used to be reserved for those occasional face-to-face meetings with your friends. It was during those encounters that you might share a bit of gossip or pass along a recommnedation for a good book or movie or share some photos you took of your last vacation.
Now, of course, the world is a lot different. You can share photos of virtually anything instantaneously. You can go online and post a status update or comment on one of your “friends’” status updates, notes or blog posts (pssst. comment on this one).
But…do you really want to share all that you’re sharing with as many people as you’re sharing it with. Forget, for a moment, that advertisers and the “Social Media” itself are collecting data about you. Let’s pretend that you just really want to keep in touch with your college buddy who lives across the country. Or your cousin who you really like but only see at weddings and funerals.
Yet, for some reason your friends and your Twitter followers number in the hundreds, if not thousands. Who are all these people anyway?
Mixing Business With Pleasure
Many people see Social Media as a way to reach people who might buy their product or service. Surely, that’s one of the reasons I started blogging. Sure. I like to write but I also wanted to attract enough people who might click on a link or a graphic. So I started being everyone’s friend and follower.
It’s really kind of amazing how many people will find you if you just put out a few interesting key words or, more importantly, accept their invitation to connect. It doesn’t matter if it’s Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn. I have had hundreds of people who don’t know me from Adam want to connect. And I let them.
I figured that it might be a mutually beneficial arrangement. Looking back, I’m not sure I made the right decision. I haven’t made my million bucks and, worse, I have all these people who, theoretically, know whatever thoughts I care to share on the Internet (again, I understand online privacy is an illusion).
So. I’m connected with lots and lots of people that I don’t know and, worse, aren’t creating the type of network that would be financially beneficial to any of us.
The Social Media Reset
Here’s where I’m facing a dilemma. Do I hit the reset button and start over from scratch…or not at all? Or do I soldier on with a little bit more discrimination as to whom I connect with in the Social Media space?
Cheryl Phillips of The Daily Blonde fame recently deleted her Twitter account with 24,000+ followers. Surely, there was a golden nugget in there somewhere. Evidently not and evidently it just got to be a bit too much.
To be sure, there are people that I have never met, in person, that I have met through Social Media like Cheryl Phillips that I’ve come to like and enjoy. There are many others. But for every Daily Blonde there are literally hundreds — and, on Twitter, that number is thousands — with whom I have zero engagement and zero involvement. They are just numbers to me. I’m sure I’m just numbers to them.
At some point, do you just stop connecting? Do you delete the account and start over? Do you just go back to phone calls and personal e-mails and the occasional visit on holidays?