Social Media Is Social

I recently went on a family vacation with my husband’s family. We “escaped” to the mountains of Vermont. Because of my work schedule I was only able to go for a few days, but it was still relaxing.

While there I spent time on my phone, because these days it’s just like carrying a book, magazine and mini TV. I read articles in the morning like someone would read a newspaper. I cruise Twitter poolside as someone may flip through a magazine. And I check up on videos posted in the evening much like someone may watch the news.

Yet I was getting chastised for having my phone in hand. This while others would be listening to their iPods, watching TV or reading a book.

At one point I was even told that social media takes the social out of it.

I disagree.

In fact, I have met some wonderful people, made tremendous friendships, and gone to magnificent places because of social media.

Last year I was at the US Open. In the spring I was at a Kenny Rogers concert. And two weeks ago I was on Martha’s Vineyard. All because of Twitter.

Sure, there are times when the phone should go away, just like you wouldn’t read a newspaper at church. However, to say that social media isn’t social is naive.

What do you think?


6 responses to “Social Media Is Social

  1. Not only is it social – it expands your universe and allows for relationships that might otherwise wither away to stay well in tact. I for one cherish the ties that I now have as a result of “social” media – namely you!

  2. Hey Kara,

    Hope you had a good vacation.

    I think that a phone or blackberry is different than a book or ipod. The hyper-connectedness creates an environment that some perceive as stressful.

    So while making connections online is no different than connecting in real life, I think a big part of social media is offline and knowing when to take a break with a family.

    Just thinking out loud.

  3. I’ve always said you’re never alone with Twitter. I’ve been all over the world and have enjoyed staying in touch with you and all my pals on “the Twitters”.

  4. I agree with both Ryan and you on this one. I think the people that complain about the phone have 2 issues with it… 1) digital media consumption just isn’t part of their staple media choices and they just don’t see it as taking in information; 2) they are seeking your attention. It’s about finding that balance to tap into the social/digital space for an information fill up, and when to turn it off and just be there. I think this will continue to be one of those hot topics of discussion between those who have embraced a wireless and accessible world versus those that humor it.
    To Ryan’s point… just thinking out loud too.

  5. I second that emotion! If the people you hang with, or live with, don’t ‘get’ social media, they never will..

    My darling husband doesn’t get it…he can’t fathom who I’m talking to…tho’ he does now understand that for a PR person NOT to know/participate in social media, is pretty much career suicide these days…

    More thinking out loud…

  6. While I have wholeheartedly jumped on the social media band-wagon, thanks in large part to my wife @karamat, I believe there is a time and place when being “social” can be perceived a’s rude.

    I think it’s fine to scan the web, read a book, a news article when it’s clearly time for that. However, when you’re with people you see only a few times per year, you are already in a social setting, and those people deserve your undivided attention.

    Unless it’s a tweet-up kind of event. I believe there is a time and place for “social” media.

    Yet another person thinking out loud. My wife already knows how I feel.

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