The purpose of social media

Is it spring yet?
Is it spring yet?

I took this picture last week when I was out searching (unsuccessfully) for early signs of spring. If I went out today I would be able to find those signs. Our grass is starting to green and the daffodils have poked through ground. Yesterday I noticed that our tulips have also started to sprout. I guess the season is changing.

***

A few days ago I was listening on the radio to a panel discussion of the use of social media by people in government. While they were concentrating of the use and misuse by all levels of government officials of Twitter, they also talked a bit about Facebook. One of the panel participants said that the purpose of social media is to gather followers.

I was surprised that no one on the panel questioned his statement. I know that some people try to gather followers because their egos need stroked on a regular basis, and that collecting followers provides those strokes. Others try to gather followers because they are selling something. I don’t believe that most people on social media are simply trying to gather followers.

I suppose that I am looking at social media though my perspective, and perhaps it s a narrow perspective, but for me social media is a means of communication. Some of that communication is high level, some is low. As I’ve written many times, I got off of Facebook some years back because of the inanity and lack of civility of so much of that conversation. I prefer Twitter where I can more easily choose what to read and what to ignore. I also subscribe to a few email newsletters. And of course I read blogs as well as write this one. I prefer the longer form of communicating provided by this blog. I can write as much or as little as I please, and I can comment on the blogs of other people.

I would like to know your main purpose in participating in social media, and so I’ve added this poll, or you can just add a regular comment.

2 thoughts on “The purpose of social media

  1. I use social media as a way to curate my life for my family and close friends. I don’t post much on Facebook anymore, choosing instead to write on my blog, and post my photos on instagram. I used to tweet a lot, and then got bored of displaying my life so shamelessly. No one needs to know I had a second scoop of ice cream 😀 As I work in digital media, I can’t quit many of these mediums. It’s a way for me to keep on trend.

    1. There are days when I feel I should follow your lead in all things digital. But those days pass and go back to blundering my way though the social landscape. Thanks for commenting. Perhaps I can get back on track and do as you do. Except work. That’s out.

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