I’ve been lucky to have been able to make quite the career out of social media.
Frankly, I was quite astute when I saw the connection between social media, design, and marketing. Who knew that in due time I’d be running my own shop, working on user experience design for two kick-ass web apps called Glass and Retrollect, volunteering my skills for an awesome (startup-by-situation) non-profit in town (Dress for Success), and going on awesome roadtrips sponsored by Chevy with my SXSWAngels? I even met my boyfriend at Social Media week. Go figure — I hit the jackpot in my twenties with social media.
Last year I hosted Social Media Day here in Los Angeles. This year I opted out of it for personal reasons, as well as time constraints. (I’m a bit overbooked at the moment.) However, after coming back from SXSW I really began to examine my participation in social media. I was Twitter-stalking (as I have a tendency to do) and came across my friend’s really neat bio, which pretty much plucked the thoughts right out of my own brain.
Gabe is absolutely right. THERE HAS TO BE A BETTER WAY. We can’t keep lurking or shouting and expect to communicate. It’s a two way street, and right now it seems like most people are talking at each other and no one is really listening or engaging.
So, me being the type of person I am, I try to find a way to address this solution on a small scale. I believe that change is more effective and sustainable if it’s done in small steps on a personal level. We can’t overhaul a system overnight. It takes time to make it stick.
The first thing I did was give up blogging daily. I had taken the Post a Day 2011 challenge but found it 1) challenging and 2) fruitless. It wasn’t because I had trouble writing — I have plenty to say — but it was because I wasn’t as confident that what I had to say was really all that important. To be consistent is one thing. To be meaningful is another. If I didn’t feel like posting something that day and just forced myself to write something for the sake of pushing it out the door, have I really done the Internet a service? I don’t think so. I’ve actually contributed to the problem.
Secondly, in giving up blogging, I decided to do the opposite — I unplugged (slightly). Instead of blogging everyday, I went for a run. That run always got broadcasted through Twitter and Facebook, and of course I blogged about it quite a bit too, but instead of using social media to talk about social media (completely useless and mostly redundant, a la “preaching to the crowd”) I used social media for what it was truly intended for: to connect with other people.
With Social Media Day 2011 I’ve come to take a long hard look at how it plays a role in my daily life.
My social media resolutions are as such:
- I plan to participate when I have something of value to say.
- I vow to keep my personal safety an absolute priority, therefore going on a Foursquare diet effective as of last week.
- I plan on speaking my mind with as much conviction in person as I would online.
- I vow to bridge the gap between my sometimes online life and my mostly offline life.
- I will not allow the web to get in the way of honest communication.
- I will follow/friend only people that I find valuable in my life and defriend people who I don’t want to actually keep up with.
- I will not allow online connections to replace the face-to-face experience.
How about you? What are your thoughts on Social Media Day and my resolutions? Do you have any of your own?