Why people connect with each other on social media is something I always find sociologically fascinating. So why do you connect?
Take Facebook and Instagram. I connect primarily to maintain relationships with friends and family I don’t necessarily see as often as we did when were younger. Even former teachers. And friends of my parents and other relatives I am connected to.
In addition to the school and familial ties, there are the other friendships and relationships I have made along the way. Friends I have made as an adult, former work colleagues, neighbors, and people in the communities in which I have lived past and present.
I am not connected to people because of what they can do for me. I connect with people I like or feel a personal connection to. Sometimes that means the extended friends of friends.
When I like a business and follow their “pages”, mostly it’s because I am a customer. I will like a friend’s business page because they are my friend. That’s not the same as saying I’m promoting their business because they are my friend, because I don’t really promote businesses. If I put my blogging hat on, I’m not a compensated blogger so I like to stay out of gray areas.
When I speak about a business, it’s because I am a customer. Mostly it’s when I am a happy customer. But not all of the time. Sometimes I speak about a business to ask people if they’ve used it or gone to a specific restaurant, for example.
Sometimes when I speak of a business on social media, it has been when I didn’t feel valued as a customer or had a truly negative experience. Sometimes the business is a big business or a utility company. But when customer service is truly lacking, sometimes that is your only option to get things made right, isn’t it?
But what I don’t do is the whole disingenuous of it all. I don’t connect with people on social media because of what they can do for me. So maybe that makes folks with an emphasis on marketing confused, or makes them wish to have their heads spin around, but I actually do try to keep it real.
Facebook and Instagram is also where I follow things that connect to my interests. Traveling, although I don’t do much of that. Gardening, cooking, movies, TV or streaming shows, vintage and antique items like Christmas ornaments. Also things like decorating. I love to see what some of them do with rooms. It’s interesting. Especially if they don’t decorate for a beige, beige world.
I also will use Facebook and Instagram to keep up with nonprofits I like, and organizations I belong to which are nonprofits. Or magazines, blogs, and newspapers I read. Social issues. Local issues. Sometimes beauty products, but that doesn’t mean I will post about everything I like or buy. And you have to be careful with things like beauty products because suddenly they will show up in your feeds everywhere as ads, even if you didn’t invite them.
When it comes to a platform liked LinkedIn, to an extent that is kind of a mystery. I have never been particularly sure of the value of the platform. It has some crossover with other platforms, but in the sense of a lot of the same people I am connected to elsewhere. It’s a platform where I always find it amusing on who is “looking at me.” And that usually is linked to something I have written – people connected to politicians, developers, utility companies, people from companies that shouldn’t be utility companies and so on.
It’s not like some one wants to reach out via LinkedIn and offer me a dream job or gig or give me a million dollars. LinkedIn is where a lot of people go to spy, looking for that “gotcha” moment or dirt. You know, much how people view Facebook?
Twitter is something I discovered in the platform’s early days vis-à-vis community activism. I have kept up with it as a way to keep track of issues and the news, but it’s also a platform where some of my long term friends are found who shun Facebook and Instagram. It’s also a place where I keep up with gardening and cooking.
Sometimes I don’t go on Twitter very often. Like during the years a certain person was president. I found the site much more palatable after they removed him. However it doesn’t mean that his children of the corn don’t lurk and spread their vitriol and misinformation, so sometimes I pass Twitter by because of that.
Twitter is one of those places where I don’t get overly personal kind of like LinkedIn , but I observe when people use it as their outlet. I don’t even know who a lot of them are in reality, it’s just their place to express themselves.
Like everyone else on the planet, there are days where I spend far too much time on social media. But it’s not my sole thing. And I don’t use it to portray a life that doesn’t exist, either. I don’t use it as a tool to be a social climber. It’s just sort of an appendage to the modern world.
I think sometimes we all need to lose the appendage of social media and live in real time. Disconnect. Connect with other human beings more meaningfully.
And yes there are lots of other platforms I didn’t mention. But if I don’t belong to them, how do I have a basis of knowledge to comment about them intelligently. Or there are others I belong to that I use so rarely, they don’t warrant discussion.
Why did I write this post? I’m not really sure. It just sort of popped into my head this morning.
Have a great day!