20 May 2010

The Hype of Social Media

Confession...  I'm a huge crime drama junkie - My week runs through all the CBS "howdunits" from Monday night with CSI: Miami to Thursday night and The Mentalist.  (Numb3rs is off the air and I gave up on Sunday nights - couldn't stay up.)  Last night I was watching Criminal Minds, which is like a dark chocolate dream to this former Psych major, and was fascinated by the whole emphasis on social media.  There were a couple of comments that really stood out for me.

"Online time suck" - Garcia said this about all the social media networking sites - Twitter, Facebook (FB), MySpace and YouTube.  And it's true.  I'm on Twitter and FB, and I can't tell you how many of my connections spend all day in YoVille, Farmville, Mafia Wars and Cafe World.  I skim over those posts, because that's not my thing.  I can see, though, how much time one can spend in a day just between Twitter and FB.  (Incidentally, one friend got away from FB because of all the games on his stream.)

"We all want an audience." (Morgan) - Don't we though?  One question that preceded this comment was, "Do they think anyone cares what they had for breakfast?"  Donna Maria Coles Johnson would argue, "Yes, they do," because readers want to know they're dealing with a person, not a huge, anonymous corporate entity.  I post tweets throughout the day about what I'm doing, irritations, something cute one of my children did, and so forth, but do I really think that all 240 of my followers are raptly staring at their Twitter steams, waiting for the latest from me?  Um, no.  My ego's not nearly that big!

For me, the quality online networking experience comes from selectively choosing my audience and selectively choosing those for whom I will be the audience.  After all, it's about making connections, not about being in the middle of the online equivalent of the Midway at the State Fair.

Question:  What's the most rewarding part of your online social media experience?  How can you use that to improve your interactions?

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