These last few days we’ve witnessed the incredible and unstoppable, I dare say, power and reach of social media.
The volume generated with notes, mentions and comments about the present health crisis reached peaks never seen before in Twitter, FaceBook, Google trends and a lot of other communication platforms; erasing all doubts that Social Media is just a fad.
That said, we could also sadly see the lack of maturity and consciousness among many Social Media users.
It’s been really disappointing to see how many people have taken the situation so lightly . And I’m not referring to the common users who often update his or her status in FaceBook. I’m talking about all those persons who up until a few days ago presented themselves as thought leaders or experts in Social Media and who actively promoted (be it because the lacked the information or because they wanted to have a starring role in the conversation), the huge disinformation we’ve seen lately, therefore contributing to generating fear, stress and misunderstanding about the proper precautions required.
It’s really sad to see how, instead of leveraging the power of Social Media to contribute and help control such an evident problem, these pseudo experts and pseudo opinion leaders have just done one of three things: making fun of the situation by telling bad and repeated (too many times) jokes, distributing alarming notes or telling stories about a conspiracy from a shadow government that is trying to unbalance the world; or even worse they’ve done the three!
Fortunately though, a phenomenon that, even though some people would love to ignore, does happen, is that the same rules from our off-line lives operate in our lives on-line. I mean, just like we have to be authentic and congruent in our day to day life, we also need to act like this on-line. Just like people may or may not like us in our real life, this can happen too on-line. And just like we can decide to stop watching a TV show or cancel our subscription to a newspaper, we can decide to unfollow or disconnect from those people who simply are not adding value to the conversation.
Of course, with this post, I do not intend to mark the content generated by some. I also certainly don’t intend to limit the humor (good or bad) of some people and much less do I intend to criticize or expose anyone. After all we all will decide who to follow and what content to consume.
However what I definitely want to say is that people today need other people who will add value to their lives, people who will bring something to the table and who is willing to help.
Just a few weeks ago I wrote a post about what Social Media means to me and in it, I summarized it all in just one word: COLLABORATION.
Collaboration for me means to add value, to support others with ideas and actions, to put in our two cents.
Of course it is ok to take things with humor, and it’s definitely very human (in my original text in Spanish, I said very Mexican) to make fun of pain. It’s ok to use different forums to take our stressful load off our backs and of course we all have a right to express our point of view.
But think about this: one time is very funny, two not so much, three definitely not.
So each of us is free to take things as we see fit? Yes, of course we are.So each of us is free to say what we want? Yes, of course we are.
But what good is it to talk just for the sake of talking and not add any value?
Because the fact that some people technically know how to enter information in Social Media platforms does not mean at all that they really know how to use it.
Writing empty nonsense does not add any value, it just generates noise.
And what do people do when they just hear noise? They turn the source off.