I love Social Media. I love connecting, making new friends, and learning more about people, their lives and their work. When I first started out, I thought Social Media was just another form of advertising. Nothing seemed to work and with hands thrown up I reached out for help.
A dude in Social Media seemed to share his experiences, and wisdom. He soon became a mentor and helped in the understanding of how Social Media works. Once he said, “Twitter is the cocktail party and Facebook is the dinner party.” Via Robert Caruso. Now that is a language I could understand. As I have hosted many of both in my life time.
As my numbers began to grow in both Twitter and Facebook, I assumed that most, especially the “professionals” or “experts” in Social Media, understood this social space. If we are taking our real face to face experiences and bringing them into Social Media we are emulating those experiences we have lived in our everyday lives. I love those one-two touch connections in Twitter. Many, like a cocktail party, you brush shoulders with, exchange a greeting, and maybe have two minute conversation. Even handing out a business card here and there. During that cocktail party experience you may connect more than that two minute conversation. You may actually find a likeness or common experiences to deepen that meeting and build new friendships that lead to phone, or face to face engagement. Now enter Facebook. Then there is that invitation to come to the dinner party. An invite to a place for getting to know new friends in business and personal life experiences. More than just that one-two connection or brush of shoulders. Facebook is more like talking, engaging and learning more of you personally, how you do life, business and justice for all.
I began to open up my personal Facebook page to those on Twitter ( the virtual cocktail party). I am social and this is the kind of social I have learned to love and embrace. After all, most of my current friends on Facebook have been to my cocktail parties and dinner parties. The Facebook friend requests, once active in Twitter, started growing by the 20’s and 30’s daily. I have been selective in who I chose to let into the more personal side of Elizabeth Traub. After months of trying to put my finger on why I no longer see Facebook’s value is when that virtual dinner party began to look like this:
My Facebook streams turned into a constant flow of lovely inspiring quotes & links by others than the actual person I had “friended”. I get that is the “thing” to do. And I do appreciate those who have invested time and efforts to bring good content. I am still learning and value this from those who do bring this kind of content, and have not lost the very precious art of engagement and conversation. However there are many who do not have their own voice in Social Media. I do not see what YOU have to say about life, business, and the things you say you are passionate about. Would you show up to a dinner party looking like this? Many no longer have a voice in a platform that is designed to be social. As a matter of fact many platforms are turning into this. In conversation after conversation, it is becoming the drudgery of many platforms to have to search for that real authenticity. Do we not have confidence in our own words? Do we run out of words to speak that we must search the voice of others? Or are we simply not who we say we are, therefore we can’t not speak to the words we do not have?
This past weekend I have removed from my Facebook many who do not have their own voice. Who do not engage, and who continue to push through content that lacks the relevance of being Social. Yet, there is this broadcasting of just how Social they are. Social is not linking and quoting others. At the cocktail party of Twitter, there are those one-two minute conversation. However after that there is nothing, that can bring a deeper meaning to the relationship being part of the dinner party.
I took this conversation into Facebook this weekend and I loved this statement by Jewel Fryer. She and I met through Twitter, and through that we found each other on Facebook and continue that friendship in our own voices. Here is what she had to say about this:
“Jewel Fryer What bother’s me most about them is that they call themselves social but they don’t really give anything of themselves. Just Hallmark type quotes and tidbits, and sharing the same old blogs and such that their particular circle is also sharing. It’s like social media karaoke.”
Now that I have eliminated all of this inauthentic white noise from my streams, within in 24 hours I am now seeing those posts from others that got lost in the shuffle. I am seeing posts & comments from many of my long time face to face, real time, met online, now building friendships friends. I think I may actually go back to loving how Facebook works. Sure the promoted Facebook stuff will not go away and Facebook will continue to make changes. It still has value. I love how I have connected with college and high school friends. Recently moving out of a city I lived in for almost 23 years I am happy to have Facebook keeping me daily in touch with long time friends. More-so now that I have eliminated the non-conversationalists.
Enjoy this Social Media space. Be you, be engaging, be chatty and you might find you enjoy this space that much more. Happy Socially Engaging Day to you.