What’s the big deal with social media?

Blog: Social Media Dating Etiquette

A Very Clickable Story

AS usual, both Serious Achievers and Entrepreneurs are hard at work on their New Year’s Resolutions. And I’m sure you’ve heard that we have a certain expectation that these two types of people make their most important changes in their professional lives in 2019. But I wonder how many New Year’s Resolutions will actually change the behavior of the Life I know.

Many people in the tech industry are proactive about the social media world. I know of no organization that does not have a social media department dedicated to it. But that does not mean that everybody is on it or that it influences them any more than their choice of work attire. It is the perception of role that is key and with this it is easy to understand the “chosen perspective” — if you can even imagine it — that drives so many of our actions.

People think “I want to go out, meet new people and earn their respect” — and if you’re that person they accept your actions more readily than if you say “I don’t like anyone.”

Here’s one example. Many people do have a lot of social media accounts. They’ve simply shrugged it off because they don’t see it as impacting their lives, and they want to go out with people they already know. But that doesn’t mean they’re showing up. So, they show up under the guise of leaving the house in a way that might impress you, but when they don’t show up, it still looks like they just went out of town.

In the social media era — I would say, in the social media era — we are almost living that worldview.

Let’s just say a “friend of mine” is out of town for a few days and so he has a bunch of different profiles on Tinder. Let’s also say that he also has other profiles on Plenty of Fish. Let’s also say that he has very few Facebook friends — and almost none of them are Facebook friends of his.

Obviously, he has already left his entire social circle for that night. It is clear to me that he hasn’t had a conversation on the phone or over a video chat with his existing friends while he’s gone.

There is nothing wrong with communicating on social media. There is nothing wrong with connecting with other like-minded people on platforms that some may feel have no influence.

There is only something wrong if there is no relationship — no, not even an opening. That is it. No flirting, no flirting with me. Just a one-way street of nothing but flirting with yourself.

When it comes to social media, our choices are easy. We can ignore it, or deal with it. The old timers are worried about sexting. We are worried about Facebook stalking our ex-lover. We are worried about all the minor things that people are doing on social media.

And it is very easy. A once in a lifetime opportunity to find a life-long friend, a new business partner, or even a mentor. Every conversation on social media is a shot at social capital.

So here’s the tip for you: When you log on to social media — and go beyond just “checking in” — ask yourself one simple question: “Will I use this conversation to break the ice, forge a friendship or to tell my life story?”

Facebook is the always-present friend. LinkedIn is always in the background. Snapchat is dead-set on resting in your thoughts. And Tinder is always on the sideline.

Let your friends and your significant others know when you’re out socializing. Let them see how you connect. Don’t text back “Don’t you know you’re on social media?” Don’t send a quick “hi” to see if they are seeing it. Don’t send them an email after they’ve checked their mail. And when you’re out on the town, don’t flash them your smiley face in the corner.

Just sit tight, observe.

Pinterest, like my own “20 things-to-do” calendar reminds me, is fantastic for serendipity. But let’s not assume everything is serendipitous. It could just be kismet.

Everyone will be speaking exactly the same language.

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