Social Media Won’t Make You Smarter, So Why Do It?

— February 20, 2017

…the Kardashians of the world never put food on YOUR table

We read statements like these all the time – connect with me on LinkedIn, follow me on Twitter, like my Facebook page…blah, blah, blah. Seems like people use social media more to boost their ego than to get to know those they connect with. So why bother?

Social Media Won't Make You Smarter

“How many Instagram followers do you have”? “Did you see my latest Snapchat?” “I just posted another of my videos to YouTube, you gotta check it out”. Does it really matter?

When we “connect” or “follow” someone are we more interested in learning something new or to have easy access to the latest gossip? Our desire to attract “likes” perpetuates a false reality when thinking a bigger “circle of influence” makes you more important.

It reminds me of what Bette Midler said in the movie Beaches: “Enough about me, what do YOU think about me?”

Now, I must admit that, since I am relatively new to social media I did spend more time initially “building my network” than paying attention to who I connected with. I thought I “needed” to have a large following or connect with everyone who asked? But what did that get me? I’m still trying to figure that out.

Over the past few months I’ve taken a different approach.

I am inquisitive by nature and try to learn something new whenever I can. With that in mind I went back through my various connections to see who shares my views on customer service and is willing to help advance the cause as I am.

I didn’t realize the wealth of free information that was readily available from the leaders in my field…and the very same people that I have already connected with. Wow, this is great!

I started to watch their podcasts, YouTube training videos and of course I subscribed to their newsletters. My email inbox turned into my own personal library just waiting for me to absorb their knowledge they so willingly share.

My next step is to get to know many of my connections better. Whether through email, phone calls or video chats, let’s try to help each other and share information when we can. Otherwise, just reading 140 characters a few times a day gets boring quickly. Don’t you agree?

If we care more about what the Kardashians of the world are doing versus gaining knowledge from real industry influencers, that is actionable in our personal or professional lives, we are on the road to ruin.

>Knowing Justin Bieber’s latest escapade or the sex of Beyonce’s child will not help you pay bills nor provide for your family.

>Tweeting out a twerking video never helped anyone pass a test or achieve a certification needed for that desired promotion.

>Sharing the new Snapchat puppy-face overlay won’t help someone learn the best way to get funding for their business startup or create an elevator-pitch that will lead to a successful job interview.

So why do it?

I’m told that it’s a release from the tensions of the day, an escape from stress. Ok, I’ll give you that.

But when your tensions fade, stop! Disconnect from the pabulum. Shut out the malaise of the entertainment world. Say no to the insipid ramblings of people that have no meaning in your life.

We’ve had 10+ years of social media that hasn’t created anything other than an obsessive infatuation with tawdry fluff.

Let’s make the next 10 years a boundless learning experience reap with the sharing of real-world tips and tactics that can, and will, help us improve and expand our possibilities.

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Author: Steve DiGioia

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