- Am I using this post to get what I want, to maintain a certain image or identity, or to bring other people a better life? Who benefits from this?
- If I were to give up this aspect of social media, would I feel that something important is missing from my life? I heard about a study of college students in which they had to give up social media and networking for a week and after three days one girl needed to see a therapist. “I feel like people might have forgotten about me,” she said. She needed to know that she was living in other people’s minds.
- If no on “likes” or comments on one of my status updates, photos, blog entries, etc.… do I feel overlooked, hurt or slighted? Honestly, sometimes I do. And when I do, I can’t help but think of Pascal’s words once again.
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
To Tweet or Not to Tweet?
Recently I was at a seminar on social media by a man who has 40,000 Twitter followers. He told us the story of how he was having trouble with his cable connection and sent out a tweet complaining about it. The next day Comcast’s truck was at his doorstep and they laid brand new cable for his entire block!
Now, that's certainly impressive, but it got me thinking—is there any other form of mass communication that you could send out a complaint like that to 40,000 people and it not be narcissistic?
In other words, imagine walking up to 40,000 people at a time and complaining to them about the speed of your cable connection, or sending out 40,000 letters or emails, or an announcement on the radio or television to 40,000 people that your cable connection was slow. How does it benefit 40,000 people to hear that you’re annoyed at the speed of your computer’s cable connection?
Pascal, a 17th century philosopher and mathematician, wrote, “We do not content ourselves with the life we have in ourselves; we desire to live an imaginary life in the minds of others, and for this purpose we endeavor to shine."
Facebook and Twitter give us the chance to do that: to constantly insert ourselves into other people’s minds with the trivialities or our own lives. So, here are a few questions I’ve been asking myself lately about my facebook posts:
What do you think? Is it (or isn't it) self-centered to inform 40,000 people that your cable connection is annoyingly slow?
(Computer keyboard image compliments of www.FreePhotos.com)