Why Social Media No Longer Sucks

I will admit that I've tried to play the “Social Media” game quite a few times. I own three websites, two of which I've actively developed, and I've tried to work social media for all of them.  It always felt overwhelming.  It felt like a chore.  It doesn't anymore.  What changed?

A few things made a big difference (yes, I'm going to tell you about some shiny tools — tomorrow), but I can honestly say that the biggest thing that changed for me was a shift in perception.

Thinking Social Differently

I'm not really a “social” person in real life.  I love my family so much.  I spend a lot of time with them.  My husband is my best friend — we talk all the time.  But outside of the family it's mostly acquaintances.  I've never been a mover or a shaker when it comes to social groups.  When I first heard the term “social media” I worried.  Did you have to be cool and popular to pull it off?  I looked at all the people amassing Facebook Likes and Twitter followers and decided I just didn't have the time or popularity to keep up with it all.  I was a geeky kid in school and, well, I'm still pretty geeky.

So what changed?  Well, I got a different picture of just how I should look at social media.  That came in two different ways.  First, I was introduced to thinking about becoming a leader in my niche, someone who has her finger on the pulse of what's going on.

Passion Trumps Popularity

Now, I was never a popular kid.  But I was always a passionate one.  My life is defined by my interests — I remember it by what I was really into at that point in life.  So the thought of knowing everything there is to know about my niche, and staying on top of the current trends, is really appealing to me. I mean, I do that anyways.  I want to know what's going on!

Being about to share this with others seems cool.  Sharing my thoughts and opinions on current events — that's really neat.  And that goes into the second thing that shifted my perceptions:  social media is about sharing my perceptions.  It's also about hearing what others say.

Forgive that I keep going back to when I was a kid, but really, so much of who and what we are comes from that, right?  When I was a kid, and had a hard time expressing myself, I wrote things down.

Enter social media: I use it to keep on top of what I'm feeling passionate about.  I use it to share my feelings on what's going on.  And I can also use it get an idea of what others are feeling — and even talk to them, behind the safety of the written word.  I get to see their thoughts and feelings expressed in words.

Discover.  Sound Off.  Listen.

That makes social media cool.  It's not just a mindless promotion of stuff, desperately hoping someone listens.  I'm not sure anyone is listening to me!  But you know, it doesn't really matter too much.  I'm still sharing.  I'm still asking for opinions.  And I think, sooner or later, somebody else is going to take up this conversation with me.

Maybe this is simple — but for me, it has been a revelation.  I'm not doing this to market, to push my brand, or anything else.  I'm doing this to stay on top of something I love, to sound off about something I love, and to hear what others are saying about the thing I love.  That rocks.

More on the shiny toy side of things tomorrow…

[box] Photo by James Cridland[/box]

I'm a wife and mother who loves working online. This is my little home on the web. I run Milk and Mud to share what I'm discovering as I run my own business and explore personal development.

Shiny Toys Make Social Media Better - December 14, 2011

[…] Social Media always seemed like an elusive game… one that I did not know how to play.  I didn’t have the time or inclination to learn, either.  Then something changed.  As I shared yesterday, I started thinking about it different, and social media no longer sucked. […]

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