Who are You on Social Media?

Several different people have said to me, in the last couple of weeks, that people only present the good side of themselves on social media.

Actually, the way it is often said is that “people are always fake on social media; they only share the good stuff.”

Whoever says this obviously doesn’t have exactly the same connections I do.  Some of them, I would beg to share something positive about themselves!

But I think either way, we are missing the point.  I believe that social media is different from any other media only in its immediacy and reach.

In other words: people can be as fake without Facebook as they can with it.  People who don’t have responsible personal boundaries in their non-virtual lives ought not be expected to suddenly and mysteriously display appropriate boundaries on the internet.
We are who we are.

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Now, admittedly, the variety of social media available now is exponentially greater than it was 30 years ago.  But let’s be real, ok:  pen and paper and telephones are social media as much as facebook, twitter, or whatever the newer things are this week might be,

Social media is not new.  The fact that you can connect instantly with multitudes of people today in ways that were not imaginable 20 years ago is new.  But it is still connecting with people.

The challenge remains the same, though it is a bigger challenge that we face more than we used to.  The challenge is still to share appropriately with others.

Some we rightly share more with: these have established that they are trustworthy.

Some we share less with: we either don’t know them well or they have (perhaps) demonstrated that we ought not share more about ourselves with them.

Are you really the you that you present broadly on social media?

Are the boundaries you set for sharing different on electronic social media than in person, or on paper, or by phone?

What would you pay for Facebook?

Facebook has drawn many of us in.  Have you been drawn in far enough that you would be willing to pay for it?

A consequence of going public as a company, which Facebook recently did, is being required to publish quarterly earnings reports.  Facebook’s first such report admits a net loss for the period. Marketplace’s take is that most of us access Facebook via our smartphones, and that they very recently introduced ads to the mobile platform.

Do you want (more) ads in the space of the small screen on your phone while you are updated your status or scrolling through a friend’s recently posted pictures?

Would you be willing to pay NOT to see ads?

I know there is a lot of money in advertising, including advertising on Facebook.  The quarterly report claimed 955 million active users.

I wonder how many of those 955 million would be willing to pay $1 a month not to see ads on their mobile device.

I would consider it.  How about you?