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Is Social Media More About Instant Communication Or Instant Gratification?

February 11, 2018

First things first; congratulations to the Philadelphia Eagles on their Super Bowl win last week. You’ve made millions of people happy by sending Tom Brady home with his tail hung between his legs 🙂 . I’ve been pretty sick this past week…last night included. So I only saw parts of the game as I drifted in and out of feverish consciousness. But I wasn’t too concerned because I knew that I could get a recap of all of the juicy parts later on social media.

justin
Sorry Justin – I missed your followup to Nipplegate. But I’m sure I’ll be able to catch it later on YouTube

Well I erred in my judgement a bit. I should have known that social media is all about living in the moment. So instead of seeing memes and gifs of Tom Brady’s crying face, I saw photos and comments about the celebrations going on in Philadelphia. Like this one:

And to me, this tweet is a perfect example of our current state of affairs on social media.


The Value of a Word

It is amazing how much we take for granted in regards to communication today. I am under the age of 40, and I remember that when I was younger and we went to Jamaica, you only called back to the U.S. if you absolutely had to. And when you did, you need to have a plan of what you’re are going to say to get it over and done with. Phone rates were like $1/min or something crazy like that. In retrospect, that caused a lot of things to go unsaid.

Today due to social media mainly, my family can be in regular contact regardless of their location. And while we are more involved in each other’s lives and perhaps even care for each other a bit more then the generation before us; along with that you also have to take the blinking and sparkling gif animated DMs, pics of shoes, and countless selfies

And that is really how social media has become a game changer. Social media channels are noisy places. So the focus becomes getting noticed, not effective and meaningful communication. Perhaps no better example of this is that of our current POTUS, who ingeniously uses Twitter as a social media beacon for attention (and it works).

A Starting Point

Social media makes connection with others easy, but just because you’ve connected with people does not mean that you’ve established effective communication with them. In both professional and personal social media efforts, use social media as a catalyst. Once that connection has been made, make additional efforts to communicate and establish a relationship. For example, instead of making small talk over DM (direct messages), offer to write an email or to perhaps call the person in the future. Both mediums will allow you to go into more depth and detail then social media does. It also leaves both parties with a more meaningful sense of connection and understanding.

Enhance, Do Not Replace

How do you think your parents would feel if you limited communication to them to only social media (even if you do this, and they haven’t said anything, more likely then not, they do not like it!)? Would you never think to call or send a holiday card or letter to your biggest client? Because of time it is important to prioritize. Even so, commit to saying something like, “Ok, so once per quarter I will send out an email or snail mail to my clients in order to connect with them.” Not only will you stand out from others, but your clients will feel like they are special enough to warrant the extra, personalized attention. Speaking of personalization, automation in social media is necessary. But at times, make efforts to personalize your message. For example, send a unique message to your younger customers on Snapchat.

All Eyes on Me or You?

Of course all of this is assuming that you are really striving to make a connection. Sometimes social media is just about broadcasting your message. That is fine; as long as you can identify that as your goal. Also understand that even if your goal is to only broadcast your message, social media allows others to interact with you even if that is not what you want. Have a plan in regards to how to act to this feedback so that you are not caught off guard and seen as something that you are not.


Social media opens up a whole new world of quick communication and easy connection. Play your cards right and you’ll be building your network and look good while doing it. 🙂

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