Social Media In Moderation Could Beautify The World

Posted on April 7, 2015 by - Also by this author

Social media takes up an ever greater share of energy and attention, in the professional and personal realms. You can’t avoid it anymore, since at the very least, you need it for occasional professional networking or business purposes.

The steady drumbeat of social media advice creates the fear that to remain relevant and successful, we all have to brand, network, connect, pose, preen and “like” all the time. Social media is the virtual version of one big global telephone party-line (remember those?) of teenagers on the phone all the time.

How refreshing to read a recent post by marketing expert and strategist Marc Gordon on five reasons why your company may not need social media.

The point is one well taken: Social media is a tool, one to be used for specific purposes, in moderation.

I can attest working in the media world that social media easily serves as a trap and a mega-distraction. How often to post and when and what will never be resolved given all the different approaches and advice on social media. At LCT, we use social media to circulate articles that we think are useful to our business audience.

Personally, I'm on LinkedIn, Facebook and Google+, although I hardly ever check in to Google+. I don't have the time or the desire for Twitter, Instagram or Pinterest. You could tweet me with a feather, and I would never know.

Those of us who grew up without social media and that old-school sense of privacy struggle with whether a post will embarrass us. I would never take photos of my loaded dinner plates or what products I’m buying at Trader Joe’s. What if my Facebook friends all hit “like” and then turn me into a hopeless glutton posing with fine meats?

All I can conclude about social media is that it resembles talking. If someone talks too much, it gets on your nerves and you don’t want to be around that person. The same rule applies to someone who talks too little. You get bored or antsy and move on.

If social media becomes a constant stream in your life, requiring check-ins while driving, on a (landline) phone, or at dinner tables, then it may be a problem. If it’s an escapist substitute for a 30-minute or one-hour TV program, or a trashy novel, then it looks more like a balanced diet, or a planned use of time.

Related Forbes article: Are You A Social Media Narcissist?

No matter how pervasive or powerful social media, there is one thing I have never done and will never do: Take a selfie photo. If I want a souvenir tourist photo, I still hand over my smartphone or camera to someone else to take my picture. Who knows, it might actually spark a real live conversation and a memorable connection. Or a frantic, comical, chest-heaving footchase if the stranger runs off with my iPhone 6.

If everyone who took a selfie instantly turned into a flower, like the famed Greek mythological figure Narcissus, then it would be a beautiful world indeed.

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