You don’t know me. I don’t know you. We’ve never met and probably never will. This is all folly. All of it. Let’s just go back to making friends the old fashioned way – at the golf course, at work and anywhere we happen to physically interact with other people. Enough with this digital networking stuff. Bah!
Right. And rock and roll was a passing fad.
Who would have thought that metal, plastic and glass could contain a human heartbeat? Or millions of them? No one, that’s who. Certainly not my mother who, bless her heart, will likely go to her grave believing that the Internet is filled with deceit, debauchery and is the den of the devil himself.
We know differently. The digital age has made it virtually seamless to connect with people whom you’d never have the opportunity otherwise. People who might live in your town – or on the other side of the planet. We’re connecting to each other faster than ever, and at the core of each of these human collisions is the idea of authenticity. Once you get past the awkwardness of opening up in social media, the world becomes open to you. Say something about Catcher in the Rye on Twitter, and you’re likely going to be followed/engaged by people who were so moved by Salinger’s novel that they named their first born son Holden. And these people might just live in Sumatra. Social media makes it possible for people anywhere to connect based on our common, or uncommon, interests. But it all starts with putting down the sparring gloves and opening up. Being you. Because if you’re not yourself, then you’re someone else. And you will never reap the full benefit of this amazing medium because all of your relationships will be based in deception.
I’m not saying you have to strip down to your bare skin here. No one really cares what you had for breakfast, unless you’re connected with people who also are watching their weight and who might give you encouragement for eating right. Or not. The point is to be honest – say what you truly feel. Engage openly and without discretion. Transparency is cool. That’s because it’s something our mothers have told us all our lives – always tell the truth and be kind to others.
Even if your mother doesn’t quite understand that her advice is as relevant today in the digital age as it was back when when we had three channels and an antenna on the roof. Thanks Mom.
7 CommentsLEAVE A COMMENT
May 18, 2009
Yes sir! The joy is in the genuine!
I’ve gotten better about saying what I really think and not editing it. Seems that some people are finding that quite valuable.
May 19, 2009
Whilst I don’t deny the incredible impact that social media has played in both our personal and professional lives, simply to play Devil’s advocate here, do you think that people now have too many social ‘identities’ / sites / log-ins etc that their impact is diluted for the user?
May 19, 2009
Callum – I don’t know about multiple identities too much. Hell, I have a hard time keeping one identity in check. So I reckon those folks aren’t really using SM in a very productive way. Just a guess. I also think that if you’re writing for a brand on the one hand (as work) and writing for yourself on the other hand – your hands are definitely full.
Oh, and you don’t have to capitalize devil, by the way. He doesn’t deserve those props. 😉
May 20, 2009
Saw your post on the copywriter’s guild group on LinkedIn. Your title reminded me of a post I wrote on our blog not too long ago titled, “Being a Little Bit Transparent is Like Being a Little Big Pregnant.”
It’s about blogging and reputation management, and includes some corporate blogging tips.
Personally, I maintain a few different blogs all under the same identity. I also help edit our agency blog when needed, but that’s mostly just being a good teammate.
I also have a few social media accounts, but I keep them separated mostly for bookkeeping and analytics on the backend.
May 21, 2009
You’re right Jim – be yourself and the connections will follow.
Jun 3, 2009
Enjoying your tweets. Congrats on the New Biz win.
The Death of Anonymity « Obsessed with Conformity
Jul 20, 2011
[…] holy trinity (Twitter/Linkedin/Facebook) these past few years. And I’ve learned that the more authentic I am, the more satisfaction I get from connecting with and engaging new people. And the only way I was […]
My novel – Minor King
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