Back when I first started using twitter in Sept 08, it was a case of the blind leading the blind.
People used auto follow tools, played with the system to get huge follower #’s and assumed that more followers = more popularity = sales.
Quite possibly one of the dumbest ideas ever.
In the past year we watched, learned, interacted, promoted, made mistakes, were professional, were unprofessional, followed all the rules and broke all the rules.
Come 2010 and many of us started questioning: with all this connectivity, could it be possible that we’re actually killing intimacy? How many of your 1000 – 5000 facebook friends or 500 – 50,000 twitter followers do you know?
Or even want to know?
It’s getting out of hand. Do you even know what you’re doing online anymore?
What’s your intention with social media, ie, do you have a strategy or are you doing the same thing you did last year – mindlessly pretending to “connect” away?
For the record, connection is NOT:
- Having 5000 followers on twitter
- Having 1000 facebook friends
- Meeting people at networking events
What is it then? Social media is personal and individual and we all use it differently. But there’s too much confusion facing new entrants to this ‘game’, and even those who’ve been using it for a while are re-evaluating their gameplan.
About freakin’ time!
- This here’s an information overload age
- If you’re the average social media user, you probably truly interact with 20-50 people in your expanded, belly bulging lists of “friends”, no matter what social media sites you use
- The rest collect dust and give you the appearance of being popular and a “somebody”
- An occasional tweet or message does not a relationship build
When you see a few names in your facebook home feed that make you double back and ask “who the heck is this and why don’t I remember adding them as friends”, you know it’s time to re-evaluate your online life (yes, that just happened to me and no I am NOT okay with that).
This was me in March:
And this is me in June:
It’s time to take our lives back. It’s time to get intentional. While I’m not going on a Social Media Purge (cos I was intentional about who I connected with for the most part), I’m ready for a Social Media Diet.
And you, if you are as well, here’s what I’m proposing.
An experiment. To get intentional with your social media habits. What’s the point in letting hordes of people clog up your mindspace for the off chance that you’ll connect with them *someday*?
They won’t be your clients *someday* they won’t be your partners *someday*, you will not have built up equity *someday* , and you will not have a friendship *someday*, if you don’t start connecting with them NOW.
Three Steps to Intentional Social Media:
1) Pick 5 people a week
2) Invite them to connect with you
That’s it. That’s all you need to get started turning some of those meaningless contacts into a living, breathing, relationship.
While 15 minutes will not make you bosom buddies, it’s a start. You’re fooling yourself if you think you’ve got any semblance of a real relationship right now unless you’ve actually spent time tweeting / emailing / chatting with someone.
Just reading someone’s tweets doesn’t mean you’re ‘connecting’.
Social media is a tool, one that you can use to meet people you’d never meet otherwise. It is NOT and never will be a substitute for an in person or phone connection.
So how do you take action and start getting intentional?
Here’s an idea – invite someone out for coffee. Set up an account on tungle.com and block off 15 min a day to speak with someone. Send the link out to your “friends” and ask them to make time for you.
If you can’t make that effort or don’t have the time or inclination then at least be honest with yourself about the huge amount of time you’re wasting, the people you’re allowing into your life you don’t care about, and the false sense of achievement these numbers bring.
Because when the you-know-what hits the fan, you’re going to do it anyways. Don’t wait for that to happen – get smart and get intentional today.
Start with https://www.tungle.me/tiasingh – leave me your number, block a time & lets get chatting. I’m looking forward to it!
Ps: I would LOVE to hear from you how you’re navigating and balancing this online virtual world with your ‘real’ life and what YOUR social media strategy is. Thanks in advance for sharing!