Can we bring the social back in to social media?


borat thumbs upClicking Favorite on Twitter, + on Google, or Like Facebook are nice but those actions are not a conversation and not very social.  Imagine you are having an in person, real life conversation with someone. This person is talking and sharing things with you and all you do is give them a thumbs up or a slight nod. It would be an awkward conversation.

Can we bring the social back in to social media? I have nothing against favorites on Twitter and Likes on Facebook. It’s nice to know someone has at least seen your update, but lately it feels like that is all that is happening. I recently realized I too am almost automatically clicking Like and Favorite on my friends posts. I want them to know I have seen it but I am hardly taking time to stop and really acknowledge what they are saying.

Where have the conversations gone? I miss the old days of Twitter when conversations happened organically. I miss having real conversations on Facebook.  I’m not the only one noticing. Did you see Mack Collier’s recent post:  Twitter Doesn’t Have a ‘Noise’ Problem, it Has a ‘No One is Talking There Anymore’ Problem

Maybe it is because all of our online circles have grown so large we have become overwhelmed by so many updates.

I’m going to try to take a step back, give my thumb a break, spend less time scrolling and more time absorbing.

Are you noticing more Likes and Favorites and less discussions?

11 thoughts on “Can we bring the social back in to social media?

  1. marinmaven

    The “like” button is an odd thing, but it also allows you in a brief period of the day to quickly check in and touch each other. Sometimes, people lose touch because they worry it will take up more time than they have that day. Sometimes you will like what someone says, but cannot articulate why at the time. Clicking like is a way to give someone encouragement or say thanks for sharing. Then there are those times when I can only say ((hugs)) because what has happened is so tragic, there are simply no words.
    The like button is no substitute for in real life time, but it is the best we can do.

    In Twitter, I have lots of discussions and I speak with people I wouldn’t have the chance to in everyday life. It is also a way to amplify what other people have to say. There are a lot of great conversations that are missed because of how Twitter is designed. Of course there is a lot of silliness too, but that can never be helped.

    I wish more of my followers could see the conversations I have been having. It is disheartening that we really do not have the reach we think we do, yet Scientology twitter reaches me daily complaining about some documentary.

    I also agree that Ashton Kucher may have ruined Twitter for the rest of us.

    What can we do instead?

  2. jennydecki

    I “Like” when it’s something I would smile and nod at. I just can’t be expected to give a level of attention to everything that I would give to something I would specifically have a comment for. Thank you for reminding me of the Scientology documentary I have been waiting for since the book it’s based on came out! (You mentioned it in your post first so when they find you on Google and come here do not blame me, for you have dealt it and therefore they will smell it. Stop trying to force me to comment on pictures of your grandcat. I refuse. (Don’t you dare take that seriously.)

  3. Doug

    I was going to just click “like,” but…
    You are right that our online circles have widened so that meaningful interactions are harder. But being connected to old friends and many more people is a net positive to me.
    What’s best is that I have friends like you who remind me that real interaction can’t just happen online.

  4. Cathy Curtis

    sally – I agree with much of what you are saying but for me, the reality is that I’m so happy for FB and Twitter because I get to stay in touch with people I love but don’t get to see in person as often as I like. Geography is a problem but so is time. The like button is gives me a chance to say “hi” I saw what you said and I am listening, even if briefly. Maybe in retirement I won’t feel like I need that but for now if it wasn’t for social media I woukd feel more isolated.

  5. Peggy Butler

    I never thought I’d say this, but I’ve lost interest in Twitter. At least, I don’t have the energy and enthusiasm for it that I used to have. I still check it every day, but don’t engage as much. Mostly I’m just reading the news…every once in a while I’ll jump into a conversation that’s going on amongst our friends. I can’t put my finger on the reason, exactly…I keep thinking it’s because my life has gotten busier now that I have 2 teenagers… But it seems like lots of people are less engaging on Twitter (which is why you wrote this post), and the use of the Fave has gone way up. I think it’s partially because Twitter has become so mainstream, for sure. It used to be more fun and exciting when there were a select few of us on there. Now it’s just so…I don’t know…public! I find myself gravitating more towards Facebook these days. And yes, I like the ease of the like button over there! I’ll try to engage with you and our other tweets more…because I do love y’all still!

  6. Suzanna

    i wonder if we are in a new phase of social. Maybe we want something deeper after playing with the new toys for a while. We are radically more connected overall today versus 20 years ago. But we might be naturally seeking more depth. I too appreciate the thumbs up telling me my post was seen. After a year or more of totally forgetting about Twitter I’m slowly getting interested again. But I want a dynamic group to play with there too. I think we are exploring and will find more of what we want over time.

  7. Terry Green

    Yes, yes, yes … I’ve been complaining about the decline in conversations and discussions on Twitter (and Facebook) for a long time time. I so miss the days when you could go on Twitter and actually talk to people. Even if we were only discussion what we had for lunch or dinner, it was a conversation and we got to know people and developed relationships. Now everything flies by so quickly it’s a blur. I am still thankful for all of the great social media platforms out there since that is how I market my business, but I miss the days when people took the time to get to know people and build relationships.

    1. Sally_K Post author

      Terry (and others)- I miss those days too. Though over the years the amount of people we have the opportunity to get to know has become endless. I’ve gotten to know hundreds of people because of the Internet. In reality how many quality relationships can we each manage? If we are taking time getting to know another new person online that means we are taking time away from the people already in our lives. It comes down the question of quantity vs quality.

      I am forever grateful for the many wonderful and really good friends I have made via the various forums & social networks over the years. Wondering if we are all reaching maximum capacity of relationahip managment?

      It’d be nice though if we could still use social media as a place to chat, doesn’t mean we are collecting more friends. Just means we are having conversations with those outside of our usual circle, keeping our minds open and our thought processes ticking.

      I have learned so much from people I have met online that has opened my
      mind and my heart to other ways of thinking.

      I don’t know what the answer is but I do appreciate this conversation we are all having.

      Thank you.

  8. Mack Collier

    Hi Sally! Thanks for the link, like you, I miss that we don’t see as much deeper engagement as we did before Twitter and Facebook and all these other social media sites popped up. I guess we can’t go back to they way ‘things used to be’, but I do miss ‘the good ole days’ 🙂

  9. DougP1

    When you mentioned Mack’s post last weekend on twitter, it caught my eye, as I realized some of the folks with whom I used to regularly talk either don’t post as frequently or have dropped off completely. On the flip side, have met a good number of cool peeps recently, too. Like Peggy, I have less time for online activity too, due to rampup of work-related deliverables in multiple time zones and kid’s activity schedule becoming so complicated it took me most of a Sunday to enter it into my calendar. Although favorite button doesn’t replace a conversation, it does let me know there (tap, tap) there’s someone out there.

  10. DougP1

    Too fast with Post button. Forgot to say we are part of the community, even if it includes fan collectors like Bieber and Kutcher. Even as small fish in a big ocean, we can keep it interactive by being interactive.

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