10 Reasons to Use Social Media
In case you ever wondered why you are spending hours daily on the Internet without really working and you or others assume that you are wasting your time here are 10 reasons to use social media you might want to take into account:
- Reputation, not just in the sense of reputation management by taking over Google results for your name, but having a reputation as the specialist dealing with x coming from y
- Mingling with leaders in your field without having to meet them. I was able to discuss online with Danny Sullivan of Search Engine Land among others because I am a blogger and social media user you can't ignore anymore as easily as someone who writes you an email out of 500
- Getting links and visitors. If you are an avid social media user, people will link to you and visit your websites and profiles quite naturally. No linking schemes needed.
- Having a voice. Ever tried to make people aware of something while nobody listened? Thus green activists are very active social media users, as you need an audience and a voice to address if you want a message to be spread.
- Sharing. We are social creatures. Sharing is one of the activities that defines us. In the real world it is difficult to share as everything you give away, like sweats for instance, you can't have yourself. In the digital world sharing is almost natural. Jesus would love it, each time you share you multiply. So sharing information is basically giving without having to give up anything beside time.
- Making the Web your home. Do you remember the term homepage? Now it's almost obsolete. Where exactly is your homepage nowadays? Or rather why is having only a homepage making you a loner hiding in the woods? It's because nobody will notice your homepage if it's not linked, bookmarked, voted up. The whole web is your home. That's why most people prefer to live in cities or villages instead of remote uninhabited areas.
- Overcoming alienation: Most educated people in the western hemisphere work in offices using computers. Watching a screen all day long and talking only a few times during short breaks is not natural at all. It makes you feel bad. So while you should strive to stay in contact with real people you can overcome the worst web worker blues by socializing with peers on the social web.
- Peer review is one of the most practical reasons to use social media. When 100 other people bookmark or vote up a link you shared you know you can't be wrong even if your boss, spouse, children, class mates, coworkers assume you are insane. It is much more difficult to find true peers in real life as they are often scattered throughout the world. For instance I socialize with people from the Americas, Asia, Australia and even Africa online.
- Love of humanity! Yes this one is very pathetic but we humans tend to depend on others in our larger family. People who claim that we are natural born egoists err because we can only exist in a social arena. It hurts to read about wars in Asia or Africa just because there are humans who get killed. Now the Internet allows you to reach potentially millions of people by uploading a video to YouTube for instance.
- Why not? Everybody does that like driving a car, watching movies or brushing their teeth, it's part of our culture, so you rather need reasons why not to use social media to refrain from using them. Of course there are some, but I won't tell you ;-)
Now be careful. Just because there are at least 10 reasons to use social media does not mean you should spend all your time on StumbleUpon, Facebook or Twitter.
Keep your life balanced and do not forget that social media are tools provided by companies. Social media are not your life, they are an enhancement of it.