Social media has become a popular buzz word these days.
It seems everybody is trying to get into social media. My company has even formed a new department just to promote our products and activities online.
Most people would equate social media to Facebook or Twitter alone, but social media transcends any single website or service.
To me, social media services allow us to consume each other’s lives.
When you follow, friend or subscribe to someone, you open the floodgates to their thoughts, interests, and activities.
I have been a user of services like SixDegrees, Friendster, Digg, StumbleUpon, Facebook, Delicious, LinkedIn and Twitter. Since I got my new phone, I’ve even started Foursquare, Waze and GetGlue accounts.
I’ve found one weakness of social media after using these services for some time.
The terrible fact is, all the social media in the world is useless if you don’t have friends who are equally interested (and active) in social media.
<rant class=’dramatic melancholy’>
It can get very lonely and disheartening.
Somehow, somewhere I have gotten so busy updating random facts about my life and checking in all over the place.
But was anyone listening? It’s like I’m shouting into a canyon and all I get is my own echo.
What can I offer that can stand from all the digital noise?
I’m not a sweet young thing, a celebrity, an outrageous personality or a talented whatever. I’m just a regular guy. Who would be interested to know about my life?
I’m really glad to have met some new acquaintances online. But when I look carefully, I have met all of you through blogging, not through services like Twitter or Facebook.
I feel it’s all meaningless… like typing 4 8 15 16 23 42 every 108 minutes. Take for example my latest tweet “Good morning and Happy September”.
What was the point of that message and will it mean anything one week from now, or even 24 hours from now?
Then there are privacy issues and the danger of revealing TMI in a moment of excitement or anger.
So what am I going to do? First of all, I’m going to stop using some of my ‘social media’ accounts. There’s just no point and it’s not worth the time.
Second, I’m going to try to engage people in conversation instead of publishing random thoughts.
Third, I’m going to try channeling most of my updates back through this blog. Blog posts allow me to express my thoughts and feelings better than 140 characters can.
Fourth, I may be removing some ‘friends’ and stop following so many people. Don’t worry… if you’re reading this blog post then you’re probably not one of them. I’m talking about those you add, but have not sent a single message (or worse, never bothered to reply my messages!).
In case you skipped all the above and just read the last line, what I’m expressing is my poor user experience with social media because, well, I’m failing in the ‘social’ part. I start to see it’s kind of pointless for me, and I have decided to take action.
P/S: I realize I’ve been saying a lot of things are meaningless. I’m not trying to be difficult or sound suicidal, but a lot of things that occupy our time, energy and attention are really meaningless in the sense that you get no lasting value, and sometimes you don’t even get appreciated.
Photo by: B Cleary