Will the social media love affair survive 2013?


social media

For some time, I have believed that the love affair with social media might not turn into a decades long commitment. The more I read about other’s disenchantment, the more I suspect that the relationship for most people will not celebrate a Diamond Anniversary or even a Tin (10 years). Others will not even need to scratch the 7 year itch.

On my business blog, I published a post about trends in social media for 2013 with some links to interesting articles. Will Social Media Work for You in 2013

I accept that as a baby boomer, I am generationally biased against social media. That as a third world resident for most of my life, I had a late start on the internet. As a farmer, rural or sometime outer suburb resident, I have had a different, less intense social life than most urban North Americans.

If I did not need to use social media for business purposes, I doubt whether I would have any social media accounts.

I quite enjoy twitter, find Facebook irritating, Linked In useful and Google + interesting, but over Christmas and New Year I went days without logging on to any of them.

Part of my lack of enthusiasm for social media is my contrarian nature; if everyone else is doing it, let’s go against the flow. Another part is the resentment of the time it takes to stay active on even a few of the major platforms. Time that is largely unproductive. Privacy and security concern me, at my age the attention of a stalker would be a compliment, my real worry is providing information about my activities, movement and associations that could be used against me by a malevolent government or other, organisation.

Remember I have paid dearly for the illegal actions of government, albeit on another continent. Once bitten twice shy. My often voiced concern over the suffocating tide of political correctness and increasing attempts by government to control every aspect of our lives adds to my suspicions.

It was interesting to read a post in Forbes by J. Maureen Hendersen titled “3 reasons you should quit social media in 2013”

What is even more interesting is that the post has had over 188 000 views and is still ranked as the most popular post after 5 days.

The author lists her reasons as:

  • It harms your self-esteem
  • It increases your blood pressure by being irritating.
  • On-line is no substitute for off-line.

I am in the middle of another purge of my email inbox, part of my mission to use time more effectively in 2013 and to be more productive. I have already unsubscribed from several newsletters that although interesting and in some cases, entertaining, do not justify the time it takes to scan, read or delete them.

What I have noticed is that I still get a huge number of email notifications of activity on Linked In groups, invitations to support Facebook causes, new twitter followers, invitations to endorse, support, recommend or congratulate friends, contacts, associates or fellow members on a range of social media sites. Some of these I can remember joining, many I cannot.

Some particularly irritating new arrivals are lists of totally unrelated and unsuitable  jobs that “you may be interested in” sent by offshoots of Facebook.

I know that the volume and frequency of notifications can be controlled through the setting of each site, but finding and re-setting those is yet another time-wasting task. Instead I am going to terminate my accounts in all but  a handful of the most important social media sites.

What do I like about social media?

It is a way to connect with people from our past that we might otherwise never stumble upon. An old school friend from over 40 years ago found me on Facebook. It is nice to be in contact with him and because of that a few others, but it has not dramatically changed my life.

It does make it easier to stay current with how social media is being used in business in general and marketing in particular.

It has helped me make some interesting and potentially useful business contacts.

It has generated some sales for me.

As a medium for communication, I prefer email or Skype. I may briefly answer messages received on social media sites, but if the conversation is to become serious and continuing, I much prefer to move it to one these.

Other critics of social media advocate removing the sharing buttons from websites, the motivation for this being that likes, pins G+ and tweets are meaningless, what we need is for visitors to subscribe and get on our mailing lists. Good point, but I do feel there is value in people tweeting a link to their followers, certainly more than a like.

What do you think? Are you still enjoying your love affair with social media or are you considering lowering the intensity of your relationship with it?

Leave a comment with your thoughts.


Wishing you success.

Peter Wright

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