Being Bruce -: How and Why I Use Social Media (the short version)

Sunday, August 21, 2011

How and Why I Use Social Media (the short version)

Full disclaimer: I totally dig social media.

As a life-long connector who spent his college years in coffee houses and now spend much of his working time in the same types of places (but now with a wireless Internet connection), social media empowers me to connect with old friends, current contacts, and new folks around the world, 24-hours a day.

I love it when I get up early and can simultaneously share thoughts with friends I've made in Australia, the U.S, the UK, Finland, Portugal, South Africa, Dubai, and India. And they write back!!

So for me that's the big WHY, I have a passion for connecting with people.

I also love to think and write and share thoughts, those of others who inspire me or make me think as well as my own daily inspirational thoughts that I attribute to "Being Bruce". I've been sharing those thoughts daily for almost three years and it's a privilege as well as a discipline that serves me well. I can talk about the mechanics of how I come up with them each day and will in another post, but the discipline of centering, focusing, and expressing is for me a meaningful daily ritual. I also like to hear when others find them helpful as well. And I learn when people react however they react.

I'm a fairly active participant in several of the major social media, sometimes with greater emphasis on YouTube videos, sometimes in NING groups, particularly we.en*, other times tweeting away in mad fun on Twitter. I probably spend more time in Facebook than any other social media plane now, with Google+ a rising second place.

Each of the social media in which I participate has a different thrust or strength, but I bring the same person to each. I show with as much openness, sharing, and integrity as I can. I realize and value that who I present serves myself and others if I show up in  full integrity, so I work at that.

I also try to stay positive all the time, to be encouraging, and offer help. At times I attempt humor, which sometimes works, and other times, especially cross-culturally, falls pretty flat.

I'm grateful for many things in my life and one near the top of my list is my ability to write like I speak and think, and to write rapidly. It's a gift I do not take for granted. So the time some attribute my contributions on social media is generally much more than I actually spend. That said, I probably spend about two hours a day with social media.

Part of my purpose engaging in social media is business and marketing. Because I am living and working in alignment with my passions and purpose, sharing what I do for fun and for work feels very natural to me.  Sometimes I put up blatantly commercial messages about a group or a book or a product or opportunity or whatever, but more often I'll just share my excitement and enthusiasm. Not everyone likes that. And I get that. It's really none of my business what others feel, but I do pay attention if social media comments drop off or if someone complains; it's sometimes good feedback that I'm leaning too much in one direction - though again I'll take responsibility for what I write and state that I  share what I'm excited about and enjoying and want to share and at times it's more one thing than another. If people get nasty or always negative or offensive or  want to go off on something I find distateful, I have no problem unfriending or unfollowing them, and I'll do the same with someone who is always and only selling (whether it's business, religion, politics, or anything else).

I don't play games on social media, nor do I engage in mass surveys that are really like games. I do, however, very often get involved with significant discussions about philosophy or marketing or business or fitness or dogs or parenting or cooking (all of which I really dig). I've made numerous close virtual friends on four continents in this way.

I'm still learning about social media, as are we all, it's a new form of expression and interaction. However, so far, I embrace it enthusiastically.