Social Media. Only for the cool kids?

Concepts

Self-Consciousness, Hierarchy, Social Recognition, Self-Awareness, Lurker.

Summary

Silverman goes on to explain that social media can change what people might actually want to share, because said posts may not get that many likes or attention. That people only share what they believe will get the attention of their peers. He also goes on to explain how people are always trying to capture the moment with their cell phone camera’s, instead of actually living the moment.

Quotations

“ Describing his experience on Twitter, the satirist Henry Alford writes that “every time someone retweets one of my jokes, it sets off a spate of fretting about reciprocity … If the person is a total stranger whose feed I do not follow, then I will look at this feed and consider climbing aboard. I’ll look at the ratio of how many tweets to how many followers that person has: if it exceeds 10 to 1, then I may suddenly feel shy. Because this person is unknown to me, I will feel no compunction to retweet a post of hers, though I may be tempted to ‘favourite’ (the equivalent of Facebook’s ‘like’ button) one.”” (Silverman)

“ And if people don’t respond — retweet, like, favourite — have I boomeranged back again, committing the greater failure of sharing something not worth sharing in the first place? After all, to be uninteresting is a cardinal sin in the social-media age. To say “He’s bad at Twitter” is like saying that someone fails to entertain; he won’t be invited back for dinner.” (Silverman)

Commentary

Today’s social media is great to keep in touch with family or friends that we may not see that often. It can also make us feel isolated depending on what you share and who you share it with.

My first quotation reminds me of a school setting. Specifically the lunch room. Each table had it’s own groups and cliques which stayed within it’s hierarchy. Say if one that was higher up in the hierarchy were to go and talk to the outcast table, they would risk the possibility of getting ridiculed by their peers. It’s sad to see that this has translated into social media. Just because someone might not be as popular or well known on social media, shouldn’t mean what they have said or shared isn’t any less valuable. This could then make that lesser known person shy away from social media or start to change what they share, just to they can get approval from the masses.

I have been guilty of catering to my audience on what I post. If I were to share something that I thought was genuinely interesting or exciting, but not get much attention from people, I would then become self-conscious if what I posted was actually post worthy. Now that I’m older I can care less on who likes or shares what I post, but I’m sure many people out there still fear this. I’ve become a lurker with social media in recent years, liking or re-tweeting what I find interesting, but not really sharing anything myself. Maybe it is because part of me still seeks that approval from my friends and followers, but I believe it’s because I only post what I myself find interesting or what I personally want to share with others. I don’t post just for posting sake anymore.

Question

Have you ever posted something just for the fact you knew it would get attention? Have you ever avoided sharing or liking something that you actually agreed with because you feared ridicule from others?