Are we really being social?

If you look up the definition of social at Dictionary.com you’ll see that it’s being defined by two or more persons (doing something – being social). So if you put that definition into terms of social media or social networking or whatever great name the interwebs will come up with for sites like Twitter, Facebook etc – you would gather it’s 1+1=communicating. Correct?

Now I get that celebrities and high profile people use these sites as a means as looking human and not entirely devoid of life – though I do question it. And obviously they aren’t going to follow their fans. Kind of like when you were a kid and wrote to fans, they never responded. It’s some unwritten law and probably has something to do with irrational stalkers coming after them. That’s just a guess.

Either way the idea behind bloggers (mom bloggers?) connecting through these various social sites is to market? connect? with not only other bloggers but people and companies in general. Correct? Maybe I am way off base here, but I’ve seen a lot of talk lately too about unfollowing, following, cleaning up their social accounts etc. And it struck me as funny. Recently like MySpace all of these sites are used most often for spam and not really connecting. I can count on my  hands just how many people I actually connect with on these sites on a daily basis. While I enjoy Facebook the most because the person must befriend you back entirely to make it possible to socialize, it’s still littered with games, links and well – spam.

 

I know you are wondering where I am going with this. I have ranted a time or two about my distaste for twitter, though I’m beginning to enjoy it merely because of the small people I do connect with on there, but it’s not about that. It’s more. A lot more.

There is a site called Tweepi. It helps you “clean up” your twitter account. Shows you who you are following that is NOT following back, who’s following you that you are NOT following back and the mutual follow. So I thought, huh, I’ll give this a try. PLUS it happens that twitter has a big fat #FAIL after a certain amount of follows with no reciprocal follow you are cut off. From life. (Not really) And it was actually rather annoying because I wanted to follow several people following me because I LIKE them, but alas twitter hates me.

So I login and what do I see?

You see, I’m not a big fan of being a “follower”. I’m not a full time aggressive person either. I see the need to be diplomatic when the time calls for it. That picture tells me it’s time. Pardon my language for a second but why the hell am I following that many people if they are not following back? It’s not putting the social into social networking. It’s putting the social into the shitter. It’s calling for minions and sheep to flock to these people, pad their stats and leave me pissed.

You see by definition it requires more than one person to be engaged in any particular activity to be social. If I am following you, I am not being social. I am being a LOSER. (Just my opinion of myself in this particular case study) And I do get that a great amount of followers can earn some pretty rewards in the PR world of blogging and social media, but I beg to ask the PR professionals one thing. Clarify your idea of engaging and connecting when it comes to the promotion of your brand through bloggers through social media. Do you really think I will in any way influence a single person if I am following 20 people but have 123456789 followers? Or will I merely look like an asshat with nothing else better to do on the interwebs?

While my numbers will probably never meet an even stage, follwing 96542 followers 96542, but if I can reach a fairly good range of +/- 200 I think I am doing OK. And I also think I will be engaging and influencing much more.

Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe my idea of being social stopped at the 3rd grade friendship bracelet stage. Back then you were a friend to everyone and everyone got a special pretty bracelet.

Has social media & networking sucked the social right out of life?

 

Comments

  1. I do agree with you to a certain extent, but I do follow some ppl on twitter (celebrities, authors, or even big brands) that I know they won’t follow me back so I use friend or follow that way I can manually go in and delete those that are just not following back that *should* be. While on fb I have quite a few ppl who follow me that I don’t converse with. They are what I call watchers. They want to see what I write, but not interact. In some ways I think we are connected more than we where 10 years ago, but I wonder how deep that connection is (uh oh I feel a blog post coming on!)
    Kas

    • LOL exactly. While we may be more connected are we actually interacting and on what level. When I was in HS all of my friends and I somehow met up every night at different places, made plans, somehow our parents knew and off we went. I didn’t get a cell phone until I was like 19! I appreciate the level of connectivity these days, I have found great friends and keep in touch with old friends…but seriously 123456789 followers does NOT constitute influence NOR interaction. LOL

  2. Yeah, I’m using your Tweepi thing. The results are not making me happy. LOL

  3. Smart idea though I’d take the time not be on Twitter as much as I think this is a wonderful website and I love your writing so…… keep that up!