There is nothing really social about social media!
I usually have many opinions but every now and then, I need to see how many other people might think alike – in the hope of proving that no one really does and I am the most extraordinary being. What is social media perceived to be and what it is in fact?
If we ask anyone what they think about social media, they will say it is a great way to stay in touch with the world around them (friends mostly, news and quotidian events).
But just how social does social media become when it is used as a tool to do business? An ‘enter’ away in a Google search page, the term ‘social media’ will bring up tens of pages on the so called ‘social media strategies’, seminars on social media, workshops on social media, you get the idea. How did, all of a sudden, something that was meant to be about oneself interacting with friends, become so business oriented?
Last year, in a workshop on social media (mostly Facebook and Twitter) at the TFM&A (Technology for Marketing & Advertising Conference) we had a hard talk
on do`s and don’ts from both a business and a consumer perspective– seriously?? I thought this is the place where I can be myself! Just to get hit in the face by the fact that, my potential employer could access my social networks’ ‘information’. That is the point where social media stops being social and becomes either a personal branding tool (if your name is John) or a marketing one (if your name is CocaCola ).
What might have started as an innocent campus experiment has escalated. You don’t care that much about what the people around you are up to, you care about making them see your new Prada bag, adulating you and making them listen. We live in a world where impressions count and companies recruit for attitude and train for skills, you do want to come across as appealing as possible.
Imagine you are using Facebook to chat to friends on a Sunday. Next day you go to work and log into the Facebook and Twitter pages of the company you work for, because of course, who knows the customer better than a customer. When did that happen?
If I was too harsh, I must apologise. But here I am asking myself what does a rabbit do with a pair of orange boots? What do we do with all these social media platforms? Do we know how to use them at all, or do we play by chance?
The internet era has shaken us indeed and digital natives have to suffer too because we are waiting instructions from those who were here before us, the veterans. What a shame that they did not use and did not have time to put any rules in place and we have to now live in a digital chaos.