I have been tweeting for more than a year now, been on Facebook and Flickr for several years, have a WordPress blog and been using Linkedin forever, or so it seems. And I have to say, it is fun and inspiring, but it certainly isn’t social.
To be honest; I think social media sucks socially! Here’s why…
1. It’s easier to unfollow than to listen
With most social networks, you choose your friends and followers. So unless you actively seek out diversity in real life, you will probably follow or friend people that shout out stuff that you like: those that are like you. Others that have strange, awkward or different views are most likely ignored, or better yet: unfollowed. We all know that innovation and creativity prosper when there are many points of view. So don’t unfollow, but listen.
2. No tears, no glory
I have yet to experience rich emotional social media. Yes, there are cute kitties on Youtube and flourishing fresh relationships online, but they are way better in real life. Twitter and Facebook are just as emotionally crippled as video conferences are compared to real life meetings. Arguably, only 7% of communications is verbal, so you’re probably missing the real message through social media.
3. Without trust there is nothing
It is hard enough to trust the right people in real life, but trusting online sources like friends, brands and experts is a totally different trait. Did you know that social media users trust only 12-26% of their friends‘ posts, tweets or statuses. Check that link again, because you’ll see that we trust others even less! So we only trust max 25% of the non-verbal 7% of the messages through social media. Hmm, that leaves just 1.75% left over…
4. Your real-life friends are probably missing you
Last October, an international research was done by TNS-NIPO on online behavior (with excellent infographics btw!). In their research, how social you are online is measured by the number of online friends that you have. But is it quantity or quality that matters in social relationships? Online it’s probably quantity, but we all know that in real life it is all about quality of relationships.
Your real life friends listen and you listen to them. You have fun together and share bad times. And you can trust them as they can trust you. And if you have been spending a lot of time on social networks lately, your real life friends are probably missing you.
The real social network is just outside your door… right now. Go!