Social media is a term that has been overused, over-broadened and, frankly, abused. “Social media” brings to mind Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Tumblr, YouTube, blog sites, and a grand list of networks which continues to build every day.
There are some who advocate ditching the term “social media,” opting instead for “online” media. This is an appropriate shift as many use these profiles for extremely different reasons. Here are a few examples of non-social online media use from top-tier networks to get you thinking:
Twitter. This one hits close to home; I know when I started using Twitter I didn’t use it to be social, I used it as a way to receive breaking news, interesting tidbits and hilarious jokes/memes/etc. I used Twitter every day, but I went at least a year without actually tweeting anything (I know, how very anti-social of me). I also know that the sole purpose of many young tweeters is to simply follow their celebrity crushes and get all the gossip first.
LinkedIn. LinkedIn is similar in that you can set up a profile, fill it out and then it can sit there for years without an update, which again isn’t very social.
YouTube. Millions watch YouTube without ever posting a video or a comment. And even if users upload videos, some upload them for purposes other than social (blasting their opinions, oversharing, etc.).
Facebook. Scary but true, there are the Facebook stalkers out there! People sign up for Facebook simply to watch what others are up to, and even create fake accounts to use while catfishing.
WordPress/Tumblr/Blogspot. Some bloggers are unfortunately guilty of blasting at people. Sharing thoughts and opinions with no real intent of connecting with others. It’s the idea of holding a megaphone and yelling at/over people, rather than sitting across from someone and engaging (or listening, as I like to call it).
What do you think? Are you up for the overhaul of the word “social” in your media? Are you social or merely online?