What’s so social about social media?

Venkatesh Rao wrote a thought provoking piece that made we think about  the kind of characteristics an individual might need to be a successful “social media” user – and the expectations we might need to set with people or teams that have expressed an interest in using “social media” to improve the way in which they collaborate and work. I see technology as an extension to human capabilities and as “things” that help us do what we naturally do but much better. My expectation is that people will use “social media” in addition to all of the other ways they interact, collaborate, and share with people in their network or community. I do not see “social media” as a replacement and something that will eliminate the need to use a phone, meet with people in person, etc.

I like using social media because it helps me grow and nurture my relationships, helps me learn new things, and enables me to share my ideas and (hopefully) help other people.

Do “social” people have what it takes to be successful social media users?  I feel like I have become even more social after I started using social media.  I even see a difference (an improvement) in how I socialize in the “physical” world after having used social media.  I think “social” people might not like social media at first because it is not as good as the “physical” world – you cannot see people’s expressions, cannot touch people, cannot smell people, etc.  However, over time they might see the virtue of having another option for socializing – and social media does provide some benefits and capabilities that are unavailable in the “physical” world (such as observing and hearing how others are socializing).



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