Everyone shares and comments in live media today. Part of the daily yarn is to hit our treasured venues online (unless we are third world indigent peoples who "too" have iPads and cellphones) and make our personal affirmations known or ask the questions keeping us awake at night.
What do we desire from our participation in social media?
In The Psychology of Social Media (written by The Good Feed Blog Editors managed by The Good Men Project founded by Tom Matlack in 2009) interesting new statistics (facts) are shared regarding our daily social media service network pabulum:
- One of every 8 people use Facebook
- 9 of every 10 Internet users on are social networks
- 1 of every 5 minutes spent online is spent on social media
- In 1 minute we produce 694,980 status updates
- 80% of social media posts are about the user
- 250 million photos are updated daily
- 9 out of every 10 Americans think people share too much on social media
Additional findings are somewhat disturbing, such as:
- The more time spent on Facebook each day - the more individuals believe other people have better lives
- People with high levels of narcissism and low self-esteem spend higher amounts of time on Facebook and other social networks
- Half of ALL users compare themselves to others when they view online photos on social networks
- Facebook is now testing a system where people will pay $2.00 per post to "highlight" what they say over others - so far the average user pays $28.00 a month in the beta system to "highlight" their posts
- 35% of users tag themselves in photos
- Talking about ourselves aligns with food, sex and drugs in as far as what center of the brain this affiliates with
So, in thread commentary, when we say "I agree with XX" or "disagree with XX" what are we really saying?
Status updates are often informative and/or entertaining. Facebook has evolved lately, to be largely an affirmation farm riddled with unique artwork and article shares. However, opinion, commentary, political declaration and/or class identification are often underpinning realities featured in streams
LinkedIn services a mine field of pertinent business questions and answers from professionals, experts and, of course, a large number of narcissists with low self esteem according to the report from The Good Feed Blog Editors.
Additionally, forums such as Craigslist extend unique user identifiers such as "Trolls," which takes an ambiguous and larger than life presence serving as the 'minions of forums.' A Troll lives to seize others' days. They rifle threads anonymously or through pseudonyms deploying tactics, manipulations or rude conjecture to gain reactions and hoped for meltdowns. A meltdown is where an end user reacts to trolling and looses it. Typically, the result is met with chagrin by the forum at large and results in the user permanently leaving the forum or learning. Often seasoned forum users will educate them to hold their deflector shields up a little earlier in the trolling process in order to survive the tactical maneuvers trolls ignite.
On some level, trolling 101 serves as a learning tool regarding how to survive social media whenever it takes a nose dive through manipulation, tactical undermining or trolling.
What about the informed user?
Intellectual users on social networks tend to gravitate to more common ground such as LinkedIn Groups and niche' groups such as GovLoop, GoodReads, The Red Room, etc. Trolling is not allowed (typically) on these sites, albeit most groups have favored users who often bomb newbies to deflate their network capabilities and disavow them in order to maintain stature, which generally says something regarding those they assault on the Internet because it demonstrates an underlying weakness if they need to assert their stance.
In intellectual or thought-process groups such as LinkedIn's the ideal is to share professional vantage points and gain network access, which is accomplished. To earn greater access does carry an annual cost ranging from $400.00 and up. These fees allow users more ability to network and places more insignias near their names, which the part-time user may or may not understand is due to purchasing rights and not "professional talent." Unfortunately, any insignia is typically viewed as a talent-driven identifier, when many are purchased through affiliations, memberships or outright buyer's rights.
On LinkedIn especially, relevant business questions are asked and industry professionals provide answers. Oftentimes, in doing so, commentators concur or do not concur with thread commentaries and name whom the concur with; which disregards the fact everyone who posts has validity in an open forum or thread and introduces allegiances that may or may not have a need to follow in a group contingent upon the ownership and how the commentator aligns to ownership. Much like a physical club - if you want access when a favored club members states who they approve of - typically to maintain kudos in membership you have to follow the allegiances or find a new club, but LinkedIn Groups are not club centric - they are universal.
The act of agreement or disagreement with others in comment threads extends unnecessary allegiances in the universalism of opinion, mastered thoughts or key learning points. Statements of agreement suggest all other commentators are erroneous in their representation, which is idyllically wrong and creates a nature of supremacist thinking, which is the opposite of what social network service media were originally all about.
However, social network service media is becoming increasingly segregationary while simultaneously creating a solid and global universalism. In the identification of social media allegiance and/or concurrence the old familiar air of class constructivism regarding validity of opines derived from human foibles of favoritism, class association, membership tier alignments and/or competition undermining again rears its ugly head. It begs the question, are human beings capable of self-actualization even in the most neutral of settings?
So what are results of "agreeing or disagreeing?"
In some mediums, such as Facebook, a few competitors can undermine competition through rallying those sworn to their allegiance through disagreement. There are cases being litigated today, where a handful of individuals or even 'one' individual have sought others in their streams or threads to file complaints regarding their competitors by sharing falsehoods. Their unsuspecting friend base presumes foul play has occurred without fact-checking and this has resulted in some Facebook users being defamed, loosing business and even in suicides.
Of course, agreement and disagreement is natural in discourse; however, is it essential to the discourse to call out who provides answers we applaud or is it good enough to applaud the answers and leave civility intact?
What to do?
Good advice is to use wisdom while using social media networks. Find truth and augment what works for you, include the positive input in your life arsenal. Discard the chaff. For facts, figures and innuendos - do some checking before acceptance. Not everything read on social network services is true.
Once due diligence is performed, project forward armed with more intelligence and less drama. And, live your vision for humanity in your posts. If you believe in equality and respect for all, wield your mindset in your social media use and don't be swayed by the high-levels of narcissism and low self esteem.
Remember: you control social media and networking - it doesn't control you!
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