I believe Social Media has some challenges with its name. The definition of social is “of or relating to human society.” I guess my problem with this as a definition is because “social media” is by real definition “of or related to a virtual representation of a human society.” My point is that the names we give things give them power and power should be earned so it takes that responsibility.
Technology cannot architect a relationship. “Where do we live and what do we live for?” to paraphrase Thoreau. Are we here for texts, e-mails, blogs and their replies? Or are we here to use these mediums or media to facilitate the handshakes, the hugs, the high –fives and the connectivity that comes from sharing in society?
In my world, I build relationships between companies and I am more than happy to create content, connection and response through the new media and use these tools to create “relationships” but I am not fooled by the saying “follows are friends” or even customers. Are you?
Use the tools! But understand their place and where they stand in your business and your life. This morning I got in a car accident. It took 2 ½ hours out of my day but I made friends with the guy that hit me and exchanged information with the people that I hit. We laughed, made fun of how long the cops took get there and how hungry we were. What was so illuminating to me is that I had a better relationship with these people than I do with 80% of the people who follow me on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn and that is because we had an accident for us to spend time with each other.
In the end, when you are sitting on your death bed, I doubt you are going to think about your last post. Use technology as a tool to become more social, not confuse it by behaving the opposite.