Recently I questioned whether we were turning into social media snobs. This wasn’t an attack on social media per se – more a valid look at whether certain people in the social media arena were beginning to try and wield a little too much (and possibly unwanted) influence over the medium.
However, perhaps even more disappointing than snobbery is the elitism that seems to be creeping into social media as well. While they may share certain characteristics, they are two different beasts.
Instead of the “do as I do” approach I discussed in my snobbery post, there’s a growing trend of “I want to feel more important than you” elitism that’s becoming more apparent.
A good example is the Twitter phenomenon. At its heart, it’s an excellent tool to not only make new friends and potential business contacts – it’s also a great way to see a microscopic snapshot of someone’s life in nibble-sized chunks. The fact that Twitter only allows you 140 characters to say your piece means you have to use that space wisely. This can lead to some very inventive and humorous comments.
Yet lately Twitter has become nothing more than a virtual brothel for people to either whore themselves out or to come across as a “look at me, I’m great” type of person. As a fan of social media and all it can offer, I find that sad and a little disappointing.
I’ll be the first to admit that I’ll notify my fellow Twitter users/followers of a new blog post – but then, that’s fairly standard for pretty much everyone on Twitter.
Where the application is losing its appeal (for me) is the amount of people that shout out about how many followers they have, or how many more they need to reach 500, or 1,000, or something similar. When did Twitter become a popularity contest? Isn’t that what MySpace is for (and one of the reasons Facebook is starting to take over from the Fox-backed networking site as the most popular)?
Maybe it’s just me, but I can see from your Twitter profile how many followers you have, or how many people you are following. That doesn’t interest me – and judging by the reaction of some of my friends who have stopped following certain Twitter accounts, it doesn’t impress them either.
Instead, tell people about excellent sites or blogs they should be checking out. Tell them about tools they can use to make them more effective in either their online brand building or improving their social media awareness.
Constantly mentioning you have so many followers often emits an air of superiority that no-one really enjoys and can lead to them unsubscribing from your updates. Which kind of goes against all that social media stands for, no?