Social Media: Is the Glass Half Empty or Half Full? It’s the Full Bottle


Vodka Stolichnaya (from the capital) by Wysz

You certainly know the metaphor with the glass and the water. It’s featured in lots of more or less uplifting Hollywood movies (like Groundhog Day e.g.), for those readers who live in India and do not watch American movies, it goes something like this:

Two guys sit in a bar and get drinks served. When the bartender brings the glasses it becomes apparent that both drinks contain 50% liquid and 50% air. Now the one guy is convinced that his glass is half empty while the other guy’s glass is half full in contrast.

Now usually people don’t tell a whole story but just ask the question “is the glass half empty or half full?” to find out whether you’re a pessimist (half empty glass) or an optimist (half full glass). I do not bore you here for no reason, I want to offer you a full bottle and explain what it has to do with social media.

Let us return to the bar setting. The scene, two men sitting at the bar and drinking encourages already a somewhat pessimistic interpretation, you imagine them a little drunk and melancholic at best. Now imagine a bar

  • full of people from all over the world,
  • people with different apparel
  • interests
  • beliefs

We’re clearly not in a bar in Texas where you get weird looks for not wearing a hat or a Mexican sombrarro. We’re more probably somewhere San Francisco.

Believe it or not, for a long time I was more the “half empty glass” kind of guy.

One way to combat this shortcoming is this blog and my overall outreach to the virtual inhabitants of social media.

In a real bar setting in San Francisco we probably would encounter a group somewhere, not just men but also women, not at the bar but sitting at a table or on couches. Now this group, chatting, smiling and laughing gets their drinks served.

They’re all half empty or full depending on your choice. Do you expect these people to analyze the drinks in order to find out whether they got served the correct quantity of liquid? I imagine them getting some alcoholic mix drink like White Russian (Vodka with Cream) e.g.

Although I rarely visit bars and I’m not a big drinker I have drank plenty of white Russians in the past. The funny thing about them is that no White Russian tastes the same although they consist mostly of those two ingredients mentioned above. Even the kind of glass varies greatly, from all kinds of cocktail glasses to average glasses you could drink orange juice or tea from. So you might get

So the bar

  • is crowded
  • the music is loud
  • the girls are beautiful
  • and the guys tell stories about their great adventures or achievements

A lovely scene indeed. To my religious Muslim readers from Iran and elsewhere: Just imagine the evenings during Ramadan where everybody meets in the streets to finally eat and drink something after sunset.

Now do you think the girls and guys will do more than just say something funny about the bar running out of drinks? Will they interrupt their conversation to muse about the drink or will they in fact say “chias” and toast? They will drink and laugh and be happy.

Why? It’s because they are there together sharing. When you’re sharing with lots of friendly like-minded people you do not notice small annoyances. In fact in some languages the terms sharing and being happy have the same origin.

While I’m not a particularly religious person I’m still very impressed by some things Jesus did and said. In one case, metaphorically he did foresee the digital age. When the people of Israel were hungry in the desert he took 5 leaves of bread and two fish and fed thousands of people with it. In the digital or Internet age the more we share the more we have. We multiply by sharing. Jesus would love the Internet, he particularly would love social media.

Now let’s return to the bar again: Lets assume the group I described above gets a little agitated. In fact they notice that glasses are half empty/full and they want them completely full. One of them could for instance stand up, go the bar and ask for another bottle to pour in more vodka into the drinks.

In the worst case all vodka is gone, sold out. Now s/he could just let the bartender offer an alternative and so on and so forth. The person who went to the bar could come back and offer even a better drink this time, even something they didn’t know before.

Social media brings you a full bottle daily. Your glass might be even half empty but the moment you start sharing with others you get more and more to drink.

Also, as explained above Jesus probably loves social media. I bet there are some Christian social news sites out there. Otherwise build one now!

I don’t have to teach my Indian readers how to share, their whole culture is based on sharing. In Islam you also have to share, even with complete strangers if they ask you to. We westerners have the biggest problem with sharing, we’re used to egoism.

On social media it does not make sense at all. While sharing we do not lose anything, we multiply each time we share. Everybody can be Jesus on the Internet! Or at least behave like Jesus. So do not focus on your half empty or full glass, visit the bar, millions of potential friends wait there.

And do you know what? Social media even works without alcohol! On the other hand, no social site can make up for a missed evening or night at the bar! Just combine both. I do not only get clients via blogging and social media. People from overseas even call me up while in Berlin to go out for a drink. Then of course a half full glass is perfectly enough in most cases.

Btw. when it comes to Vodka do not buy some weird over-advertised ugly stuff. Buy the originals from Russia or Poland where I come from. They taste completely different and muuuch better. Vodka Moskovskaya and Wodka Wyborowa are good choices. Some Vodka brands use Russian names but they are not from Russia.