It seems Social Media will never stop being in the Social Media—it appears to be merely a reflection of our self-reflexive age which, a consciousness of our self-consciousness. The Internet is a cup that overfloweth with blogging about blogging, facebooking about facebooking, tweeting about tweeting, and so on. Underscoring the pervasive obnoxiousness of the Internet comes easy and natural, but the same applies to its benefits. Adam Gopnik wrote a wonderful piece in the February 14 edition of the New Yorker that discusses the barrage of books dedicated to the state of books that have shown up on the market since the arrival of the Internet. He categorizes our the prevailing attitudes toward “the future” as the “Never-Betters, the Better-Nevers, and the Ever-Wasers,”—those who think the Internet is the pinnacle of human achievement, those who believe humanity finds itself in a state of devolution, and those who claim fundamental differences can be discerned when comparing human behavior pre and post-Internet. Some of this discussion seems futile to me because even if humanity is in a state of devolution, there can be no changing the destined course of ubiquitous interconnected digital stimulation—all that remains is to conduct this (virtual) reality in a dignified manner.
The human longing for authentic experience has only increased in our postmodern age where experiences that proved to sell well (McDonald’s & Microsoft) were replicated. Many people treat their social media marketing the same way: “Competitor B. Is doing social media, so we should probably too—and their tweets come in the form of press releases; that’s easy, we can do that.” Now you have a company doing social media just to be like every other company, which is not what people are looking for. In my mind, the Internet’s most beneficial contribution has been its push against homogeneity by allowing corporations and individuals to freely present themselves in new and attractive dimensions—providing customers glimpses of the heart behind the shell of the tin man. If regarded from this angle, Social Media can either alienate your customers more by treating them as cogs in the machine, or provide them with meaningful experiences by inviting them to take part in a relationship. Do Social Media to interact with others with an express intent, not just to do be doing Social Media for the sake of Social Media.