I’m in the middle of a social media siesta. I’ve toned down my participation in Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and other online communities. It’s an experiment.
As an early adopter of the technologies and one of its strong proponents in the recruiting industry, I wanted to test my perceptions. What happens when you step away from the powerful swirl of online interaction?
I’ve always argued that online interaction is the new literacy. I’ve encouraged all of the children under my care to spend a lot of time online. In general, my perspective is that reading and online interaction are one and the same. All of the kids have become both great readers and regular users of social media.
But, it’s easy to drink your own bathwater.
In Australia, there’s a wonderful cliche about a “self licking ice cream” (SLIC). A SLIC is an object whose only purpose is to consume itself. (or, more subtly, a self fulfilling prophesy). In my experiment, I wanted to see if social media was my self-licking ice cream.
Very clearly, social media is a game that rewards the players on the field and penalizes (or simply ignores) those who are not immersed. Social media rewards those with the time and interest to engage in self-promotion. When you pull out of the fray, it moves on without you.
It reminds me of the idea that “you can never put your foot in the same river twice”. The flow of social media is fast and all encompassing. But, it seems, it’s just a river.
It’s a tool for some people some of the time.