I was speaking with a friend over the weekends who said “Facebook and Texting are destroying society because it keeps people from actually talking.” Well, she cannot be more mistaking, Social Media tools expand your ability to communicate!
Social Media can be a confusing to many people, but it is a really simple idea – it’s communicating (talking) with people using online or mobile applications. Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and the rest of the social media programs give us the ability to reach more people than we could in face-to-face conversations.
I agree nothing beats a face-to-face conversation with a friend, how many people can you speak to face-to-face in one day?
I love to share information with people, like a news story from around town or a great tip about a local restaurant. If I had to settle for face-to-face conversations I may over be able to tell a dozen or two about it, but with social media tools I can spread the information to over 1500 “friends” in a few seconds! It doesn’t even matter if they are online at the time the message goes out or not, it will be waiting for them to ready when they are ready for it.
Just while writing this blog I learned some interesting facts from friends;
- Dave told me about great General Tso’s Chicken Wings at the Pines Tavern. Yes, I will go try them!
- Kim told me that JoJo’s Ice Cream is holding an Autism Fundraiser on Aug 2.
Social Media can be a valuable resource, I have asked for recommendations about places to eat, visit and merchant / vendors to patronize on social media sites numerous times. I was down the city with the boys, I posted a question about which pizza place to try and I got a great recommendation from a friend and the boys & I loved it! If not for social media I may have never found the place on my own. I enjoy posting information about places that I like, I want other people to experience them as well and then tell me about it, either face-to-face or online.
Social media also gives you the ability to spread your word beyond your own friends! When I read something and think “hey my friends should know that” can easily resend the message to them and increase that amount of people seeing the message.
I admit there are lots of people posting things online that they should not be.
- I am always amazed when I see people post personal information or dirty-laundry on Facebook and then get mad when people comment on it. You should always ask yourself, “Is this something I want to share with the world?” before you post online.
- I also know that some people (including myself) tend to over share. I know you probably do not care that I’m at the grocery store again, but on more than one occasion someone has messaged me and asked that I pick something up for them after reading where I was.
Another great benefit of social media (particularly Facebook) is the ability to re-connect with old friends! I have found numerous friends on Facebook that for one reason or another I had lost touch with. Facebook allowed us to reconnect and begin talked online and then even met face-to-face again. Social media can be a great reunion tool.
You can also meet people with similar interest and build a relationship online that may eventually become a face-to-face friendship as well. But not even online “Friendship” has to lead to face-to-face contact. I’ve met people online that I may never get to see face-to-face but we have still become good friends with each other.
Like anything, Social media can be misused, but once you learn how to use it correctly you can gain much value from it. I have seen many great results with social media;
- I’ve seen successful relationship develop
- I’ve seen new careers and ventures started
- I’ve seen important events publicized and supported
Encourage your friends and family to be active with social media (and responsible while doing so), I
bet KNOW you will gain from their experiences as well.