As I said in my previous blog, my next blog, this blog, would be my thoughts on social media engagement and interaction.
I want to start off my saying that I am obviously a huge fan of social media and believe that all organizations and individuals should be involved in social media in some way since it is not going away and in fact is only going to continue to grow.
H0wever, with that being said, I also think it is extremely easy to become obsessed with social media and it can easily become your life. Do you ever notice those people that even in meetings can help but check their Facebook status or Twitter feed in the middle of the meeting or post what they ate for lunch as they are eating it? I will admit that sometimes I am in this person (not the lunch part though ;). However, I am come to also realize that in some cases in-person or direct contact of some sort is much more appropriate.
Many people have asked me in the last couple of years if I think social media will replace all in-person contact. My answer to that is no. I think it is still important to have direct contact with people. What I also tell them is that social media can play a part in generating this direct contact because it creates the ability to meet people and network which then leads to these direct contacts. I can't tell you the number of people I have met because of me stepping into the social media realm that I would never have had the opportunity to meet without being on Facebook and Twitter. I will also say that it is a little strange to talk to someone for years, virtually, via Facebook and Twitter, but have never met them. But, once I do meet them, it is like I already know them due to our social media interactions.
So while I do think that social media is important and extremely useful I don't think it is taking away from or making people more impersonal. In fact, I think it is doing the opposite in that it is generating more engagement just on a different level. Social media is, however, creating the need for us to teach our students, and even ourselves, how to understand the difference between social media "speak" and real world, in-person "speak". These are two different types of "speak" that cannot always be intermingled. Basically, this world of social media has come along and created its own vernacular and when people become so entrenched in it the forget how to use real world "speak". So it is up to use to continue to educate ourselves and those around us on when each of these forms of communication are used and how to use them appropriately.
Do you agree? What are you thoughts on this?