It’s difficult to remember a time when I didn’t have Internet access. I had my first AOL screenname, sweetb113, at 13. Little did I realize that my connectivity was increasing exponentially. I had the ability to instantly keep in touch with everyone, from my friends in Lyndhurst, Ohio, to my pen pal in Pittsburgh, PA. From then on, my social medial usage matured from Facebook to WordPress to Twitter. And, while I haven’t quite grasped this whole Tumblr thing, I’m learning.
When Facebook released company data for their IPO, they said that they had 845 million monthly active users, 250 million photos uploaded per day, 100 billion friendships and 2 billion likes and comments per day. All of this made me realize how important it is to consider what you’re sharing. Our community has evolved to encompass more than just whom we see everyday.
Currently, I have 1,573 Facebook friends. I’d love to say that I know every one of them, but I’m sure that I’ve only met some once. Regardless, their statuses bombard my senses every time I sign on Facebook. I’ve read articles or seen photos that have been shared 4 times over. Often, I’m not even a ‘friend’ of the original poster. I’ve read stories that make me want to do everything from engage, laugh or cry. I enjoy the statuses, pictures and stories that add value to my life. Consequently, I’m secretly disappointed by those that have no value at all. *
Social media has given everyone the opportunity to share stories. Storytelling is no longer reserved for musicians, filmmakers or writers. It’s quite simple to share what you’d like. However, I encourage people to use this evolving platform for good. I believe that this increased access imparts an increased responsibility to create content with a positive influence. Now, this isn’t to say that every status should aim to teach people something. It could be as simple as making someone laugh or even think.
I must admit, that I’m able to piece together little bits about people’s personalities based on what they choose to share. It’s easy to tell when someone’s arrogant, selfless, introverted, outgoing or optimistic. So, even if you disagree with my assertion that you have a responsibility when sharing, consider, at least, that you are branding yourself.
I’m thankful for those who share stories, pictures and experiences that contribute positively to our evolving ‘community.’
Happy Easter and Passover to those recognizing the holidays!
*My secret is out.