The best part of social media is that I get to connect with people that are always thinking. Always trying to improve themselves and others. While I like getting likes and retweets there is nothing quite like conversations that keep me coming back for more. One of the recent conversations I had on Voxer was about social media and relationships. Tammy Neil (@tg_neil) dropped this mind bomb. She said, “You need two forms of social media if you are going to know a person well.”
Sometimes it’s the most innocuous statements that have the deepest impact. I began to analyze the friendships that I have made over social media. Most of them started on Twitter or Voxer. (I sparingly use Facebook and only because I help run the NJ AHPERD and Paddle Zlam pages.) When I look at the people I consider confidants I realized the truth of that statement. I am connected to those people through two or more of the following social media accounts: Twitter, Voxer, Whatsapp, or Facebook. Even within those apps, I am connected to those chums in various ways. Other people use Instagram, Snapchat, and Marco Polo in addition to those previously mentioned!
Being connected to two mediums allows a couple of things to happen. The first way is that most mediums allow a private connection to occur. Almost every day I am messaging either an individual or a group privately on social media. This is where my unfiltered thoughts are posted. I value those people and look for their feedback. Sometimes it is to avoid getting myself in trouble when talking about race while other times it is simply to rant about something that isn’t a big deal to the world but bothers me in some manner. When people are in smaller private groups that they trust they are able to speak freely without worrying some stranger will come and piss on their pee. This freedom allows that deeper connection to occur.
The second thing that occurs is that you see different sides of people. For example, some people only post pictures of their families on Facebook or Instagram. The voice message apps allow you to hear the tone inflection of the person. This also allows humor to show through in a much clearer manner as well. When we read the text we project a lot of our feelings onto the tone of the writer. Voice allows us to hear if they are angry or calmly explaining a point that may be unclear via the written word. The more we learn about another person’s life and invest time with them the deeper connection we make.
There is the risk that social media can overtake your life. I have watched numerous people get carried away with FOMO (fear of missing out) and think they have to have every platform out there. Time is always a limiting factor. The number of people who I feel I have deep relationships is tiny. I would rather go a mile deep and an inch wide that have thousands of “friends” whom I know nothing about. Those people who go 100 inevitably flame out. You simply can’t be everywhere at once. If you don’t believe me watch this video:
If people are using social media simply to learn more about education or any other reason that’s fine. I’m not advocating you do anything you don’t want to. I simply heard a thought that resonated with me. If you believe you know people from social media think about how many platforms you interact with them on. Everyone has multiple sides and every platform has its various. If you want to get to know people at a deeper level you may want to analyze how you are going about doing that. Think about it.