With Hurricane Sandy forcing me to be housebound, I took a little trip down memory lane before cabin fever set in.
Think back to the days before social media. Tweeting was something Tweety Bird did in cartoons. If I wanted to update my status I would phone a friend from my landline. My cellphone didn’t have a camera for documenting my new nail polish; you had to check that out at school the next day. You get the idea: no Facebook, no Twitter , no Instagram. Now yesterday, imagine the comical image of me charging my phone every 60 seconds, just incase the power went out. With no access to my beloved social media, I would feel utterly disconnected from the world and my online community, and that is unimaginable!
Before you rush me to the nearest support group for social media addiction, you might like to know that I am not alone. Studies have shown social networking is ranked as the most popular content category for worldwide engagement. People want to connect with others; it drives some of our most basic emotions as humans. Social platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram allow us to connect faster than ever before. One in every five minutes is spent on social networking sites globally (wowser!). We can find others who share our interests and passions with a quick click on our iPad or laptop. Is this the traditional method used to discover if someone shares our views? No. However, it has quickly become the most popular way to do it, and I think there is no going back.
Now that we have almost everyone engaged in social media, or addicted like I am, we need to make sure we are using it to the best of our capability. We owe it to our online communities to make it worth something. Can we drown out the white noise and make sure that users are really hearing what is being said? If we can master that technique, through appealing content, there will be no need for questions on whether social media is here to stay.
Social media, when done wrong, may be compared to teen sex – awkward and disappointing. But, when done right, it is like free falling from a plane. The rush is unbelievable and there is no going back!