Social Media: Our Sleazy, Scheming, Sexy Society
Have you seen the social media underbelly? It's not too hard to find. Type in one or two of the words that most appall you here and you're bound to find some shadowy figures tossing them out without reservation. Gangs are now using Twitter and Facebook for recruitment. Talking heads are horrified--horrified!--that teenagers are using Chatroulette for virtual hanky-panky.
And what about the spammers? The auto-DM's from shiny-toothed circuit speakers selling e-books , the incessant requests to become "fans" of boring businesses we've never heard of, the phishing scams, the millions of zombie-like broadcast accounts that constantly speak but never listen--what about them?
"Yikes", says the business owner, "Why on earth would I want to dive into that cesspool?"
"No thanks", says the pure-intentioned soul, who simply wants to make friends online.
Is the water a bit muddy? Without a doubt. But if all we see is the filth, we miss the bigger picture:
Social media is simply a reflection of our society.
The same imperfect, complex, corrupt, exciting, beautiful society in which we do business every day. The same one, in fact, inhabited by our dearest friends, crooks, liars and everyone in between.
Sex and violence sells, so the media reports on these dark corners of the social media experience and leave some of us with a bleak, yet entirely inaccurate, understanding of this online world.
Stretching the truth in an entirely different direction, we find the schemers. If they can convince us that social media is a utopia of easy money and happiness to which they hold the key, we are one step closer to attending their pricey feel-good seminars or buying their surefire profit system.
Social media is neither den of iniquity nor Shangri-La.
400 million people use Facebook, for an average of an hour per day. To the surprise of many, who we say we are on Facebook is a remarkably accurate portrait. We are fast approaching 50 million tweets per day. These numbers can't be ignored because they represent people.
The world is using social media. If the world is filled with your prospective customers and friends, you should be, too.