According to dictionary.com, the word social refers to the relations of human beings in a community. Technology has now brought us together into a broad, global online community. Twitter, facebook, and other forms of social media have brought us together. They now allow us to connect with each other from across the globe.
I can now communicate instantly across the internet with my wife, my in-laws, my parents and even my grandparents. I can reach out to new people and make friends and safely connect and engage perfect strangers in conversations.
The truth is that with these social media platforms, there is so much potential for good. It’s now easier than ever to build tribes and rally around good causes, fun conversations or whatever you happen to be passionate about.
But as with any good thing, people soon try to figure out how to monetize it even at the expense of it’s quality. People spam their links across Twitter. They market their worthless products. They excessively use auto-tweeters and affiliate links. They don’t engage and connect as real people. They don’t understand what it means to be social.
And yet, even though I’m saying they, I really mean we. We do these things. We spam the people around us thinking that it helps build our online products.
What ever happened to being social? What ever happened to acting like members of a community? When did we stop having real conversations? When did we stop acting like humans?
I’m not advocating the complete and utter dismissal of all ads on blogs, Facebook and Twitter. I understand that people should be allowed to use their property and their reputation to earn a profit for themselves and their families. In fact, I use Sponsored Tweets to make a extra cash every month.
But the key is balance. If you’re not actually engaging then you’re going to find your effectiveness getting smaller and smaller. Don’t spam those ads non-stop. Simply sprinkle one into the mix once in a while and be honest about it as you do it.
Ultimately, the more you humanize your experience online, the more you’ll see a community rally around you like you’ve never seen before.