8/19/2015

Social media referendum: #socmexit?

I was a journalist back in the 90s. At that moment, social media was not there yet. LinkedIn was launched in 2003, Facebook saw daylight in 2004, and Twitter was born in 2006. Because of social media, there’s no central authority in the press anymore. That decentralization becomes common: everybody can become important at once when the message is good. Social media has a huge impact on our lives. But some people are still resistant. Vote for or against social media after reading the 5 remarks below.

1. For the first time, you have the key

You really have the key. To achieve the right information within social media, you have to take the initiative yourself. You have to become a member of different social media platforms. And you should invest time in it, to understand which people have knowledge about which topics, who is an influencer… But also this is a normal evolution in society. In more and more companies it’s expected that a lot of employees is taking personal initiatives. The so-called flat organizations where the “boss” becomes a “leader”, a “facilitator”. Not everything is served on demand, YOU have to search for it personally. 

2. Old friends: that’s a long time ago!

Life goes on. You gain new friends. You lose some old ones. Social media is a perfect tool to find old friends and to connect again. In the past it was a rather big step to take the phone to contact someone you didn’t hear for several years. And maybe you even don’t want to contact that person directly. With social media, it is so much easier to reconnect. You just want to give a signal: I’m still existing. I know you are still there. Let’s keep contact. No large barriers anymore.

3. First inspiration: golden sparkle

Social media is often like the modern age Liverpool-sound or Mercybeat: a trigger for new initiatives. On a lazy day, youngster Clara is scrolling blogs. By pure coincidence she opens a blog about the life of a journalist. The week before a friend also decided to become a reporter. As a consequence Clara starts the study of journalism. She found her dream. The specialized literature is only following afterwards. So often the biggest decisions in life are taken based on emotional grounds or coincidence. Social media is catalyst.

4. Don’t hide yourself: only one you

Everybody knows the feeling. You scroll your Facebook account. Your ‘boss’ (or ‘leader’) appears just above your ex. Just because they have similar starting letters in the alphabet. The borders between private and professional life are disappearing. But is this really an issue? Because, if it’s really private, don’t put it on the social media at all. And is it so dangerous that your personal character is known in your professional life? Finally, there’s only one you! If your company knows you better, it can take your character into account during new opportunities!

5. Be yourself

It’s hot nowadays. The best marketing is yourself. Be spontaneous. This is valid both in private and professional life (brand, content marketing). In fact, it’s very honest. You are popular or not based on who you are, based on your content or your humor. Everybody has similar chances at the start. You are stimulated to jump in a democratic game. You have the key.

Yes or no?

I adopted social media in the late 2013s. They offer me a source of true inspiration and creativity. They learn me to see things in another day (or night) life.

Do you want to express your personal opinion about this blog? Do you want to add other reflections? Do you vote yes? 

Author: Wouter Dessein. You can follow Wouter Dessein on Twitter (@DesseinWouter) or connect with him on LinkedIn