There is a LOT of buzz about Social Media (ROI, expert, consultant, viral, etc). If Twitter is better than Linkedin. MySpace vs Facebook. Digg. Bright Kite. Daily Mile. The Social Media list is endless. What is Social Media? Is it the number of followers on Twitter? Is the amount of friends we have on Facebook? Is it being a self proclaimed "expert"?
Here is what Social Media means to me.
It is a place where I can engage, make new friendships, help & meet others around others around the world and is a organic part of my life.
Here is what it is NOT (to me).
Social Media is not forced into my life. It is not the amount of followers or number of friends (although I do like a high number just so I can meet more people). It isn't calling my self an expert on these two words.
I recently did an interview and I was asked when I started using "social media". My answer? My entire life. No really. Let me explain.
I remember being 6 and on a field trip. I was in some museum. I didn't have the slightest interest in it whatsoever. I did however find all the PEOPLE very interesting. I remember going up to other kids (some much taller then me) and striking up a conversation. Then asking them for their address (as in a mail box). And yes, I would write to them. I had quite a "pen pal" list for many years. And that was my introduction to "social media".
Being social is a part of who I am. It is a natural part of my life. I love to meet new people. I love to interact. I enjoy finding out what makes people tick. What drives them. What they do for fun. What they do for a living. What are they passionate about. And of course what physical activity they enjoy!
You see, Social Media isn't about the numbers, the stats, the experts, the famous people. It isn't seeing who can have the most RT's (re-tweets). It is about people. It is real lives communicating on a platform called the Internet.
My wish is that Social Media would become a part of our life & not make us only interact with screens and keyboards. Social Media should encourage the art of getting together. Novel idea, right? We should use Social Media as a tool to reach out to others where we might not have had the chance to before. It should not be forced into our life. If it fits, it fits. If not, then maybe now is not the right time for it
I had to use museums and field trips 24 years ago. Today I have Twitter & Facebook and a host of others.
So, I guess I can claim I am a 24 year "expert" in the field. Or not.
What is Social Media to you?