Social media?

Social media.
The wording it self makes me think.
Social media. When is it not social?
Ok so I know what it means.
Don’t get me wrong here people.

We as one of many species on this planet are a social one. We are built to interact with other people. When it goes online it is simply a different forum.

So why do some people behave so completely different online in comparison to how they act offline?
IRL, if you’d like.

Of course I am aware of what I retweet, of what I post on Facebook and what goes on my LinkedIn profile. Three different forums. But it is still me. Fia.

A colleague of mine, P, had such a good way of explaining this to a group of people, not too long ago, in a seminar.

He gave the example of you being invited to a party where there will be people you have never met before.
What do you do?
You have a quick “search” to find out something about these people. In order for you to see if you will fit in there.
We are all about adapting you see. And almost all of us want to fit in to some kind of context.
no, of course you don’t have to agree with me

In an offline situation you would start to think about what to wear. You don’t want to be overdressed, nor would you want to come to a party and be too casual. It might make you feel slightly uncomfortable.
You might also think about what kind of topics can or can I not talk about. Would something maybe offend these people? Would something make people talk bad about me? The most part of people, that I know anyways, would like to have a good reputation.

Being online as a brand, or a person, is no different.
You want to be your best. At all times. You want people to talk good about you when you leave a room. Reputation. You would like to contribute to a conversation. Thought leader. You would like to be seen as one of the good guys that does not only show up for the free food.
And, who would mind being seen as one of the cool kids on the block? Innovative and pioneering.

So why is it still so hard for some? What is it that some people are so afraid of when this is happening online?
It is exactly the same as an offline discussion would be. Except that you only have 140 characters so you need to practice your punch lines.
Or start a blog.
Why not do both?

Also I think that honesty, transparency and a healthy portion of humour will take you a long way. On and offline.

What do you think?


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