By Vincent E Martinelli
The advantages of social media seem countless and boundless. Despite being in a virtual life, in some ways social media outlets actually – assuredly by accident – encourage a more life-like interaction and behavior. For example, on Facebook, if we see something which one of our friends posts, and we like it, then we can “like” it so that everyone else knows that we like it.
This is nice because we can be impersonal about what we say. I would not ordinarily tell a complete stranger that, for instance, I like something they own or something they are doing, but, in social media, I am much more likely to do just that. If I am at a restaurant and someone else is telling a story, I would tend not to bud in – its private, none of my business, and I should not be eaves dropping. However, in social media, it is perfectly fine to do just that.
LinkedIn now has a feature which allows people to “endorse” others’ skills and characteristics. This is really great because we can post our skills and other people can verify our strengths. If we are looking for a job, for instance, employers can feel more comfortable about what is on our resume when 50 of our closest friends vouch for us. Plus, we get to say stuff about ourselves without bragging.
On most social media sites, we can post what we like, where we have gone, and what music suits us. These little nuances have their personal purpose, but another advantage is that we can find other people with similar interests without having to be introduced by a friend at a party or company meeting.
With all that said, here is where some of us are lacking. The success of our posts or websites or pages or links or resume, is often a function of whether – and how many – people “like” or “endorse” us or our pages, websites, links, and attributes. It is very easy to scroll through the endless chatter that people put up on their social media forums and, with one click of the mouse, tell the rest of the world that we agree or are in support of or enjoy something.
However, we each need to take a more active approach. For instance, if someone puts together a new page on Facebook, we really have the responsibility of going to that page and clicking the “like” button if we like the cause of the page or just to support the person who created it. In other words, we are not “liking” the page because we actually like the page layout or colors, we should be “liking” the page because, for instance, Facebook requires a certain amount of “likes” within a certain amount of time in order to get certain perks. Similarly with LinkedIn, we really should not just view someone’s profile and quietly agree, we should actively go through their profile and “endorse” the traits which we know the person possesses.
So, the next time you are visiting your favorite social media forum, and a friend starts a new page or posts a new skill, show your support without having to be asked. This is just a common courtesy.