Social Media – Narcissism vs. Sharing

· Blog

Earlier this year, we caught up for a social with the charming Andy Ellwood, Director of Business Development for Gowalla, a location-based social media group. For more info about Andy, click here. In this clip, Andy discusses the way in which the ubiquitousness of social media has changed what and how we share with it. To a person from the 19th century, today’s society’s habit of sharing via social media would seem positively exhibitionist. Our notion of privacy has come a long way in a very short space of time. Andy frames it as a uniquely American trait, the church of the individual, where people are raised to believe their voice counts more than any other, and so become quite used to talking about themselves. Whether US specific or not, with the globalising influence of the Internet, we all now have the opportunity to have our voices heard, and are taking advantage. But what are we saying? In the formative days of social media, it was acceptable and common to post the completely banal into the web ether. However, doing this assumes an audience for an individual’s banalities that simply doesn’t exist. Andy suggests that if someone were to tweet about eating toast in today’s internet, they would be ridiculed. Instead, the kind of sharing that generates a positive reaction is those with greater value. Using social media to distribute genuinely useful information, or even to entertain or inspire the reader, gives justice to the term ‘sharing’. Far from an internet full of individuals talking about themselves, we then gain a network of people with overlapping interests and cross-pollenating ideas. With the explosion of social media content, it is harder than ever to stand out on the web. Those people who are genuinely sharing, who are placing online content that has value, will be heard far more than just another narcissist. And after all, isn’t being heard what we all want?

Written by robert · · Blog
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