This is an intervention. It has to stop.
The internet was built by really smart people who needed a tool to do even more really smart things. And the world wide web was built to connect information to people. Yeah sure, first we connected slow streaming porn to sex-starved guys with university computer access, but we did move on from that point. We evolved, we went from using it as a replacement for faxing bad jokes, to being able to develop and share real ideas that didn’t involve nudity. Searching for that information became easier (thanks to Google and other search engines) and we evolved as users of this marvelous tool.
Then, when we just got some idea how to use this wonderful tool well and started doing remarkable things with it (stealing music and video) we realized some of what we were doing was bad but we got better. Nowadays we actually support those artists. We love Netflix and iTunes as it made it easy and affordable and legal. We found a way that actually works so we ran with it.
Again, we evolved. We started using this tool better.
It didn’t last.
But now, now, thanks to social media, we’re back into the Paleolithic Era of internet usage. Once again we’re back to using this tool to call up the worst (time sucking) facets of humanity and constantly eating flavorless tidbits of entertainment.
To be everywhere is to be nowhere.
Senaca the Elder (Roman Senator 54BC – 14AD)
Even the Wall Street Journal says there’s too much crap out there. I’m telling you now we don’t need anymore shots of your hot dog knees poolside. And so help me if you tweet a picture of your next lunch, I’ll lose mine. We’re better than that people!
There’s actual, honest to goodness, USES for these social networks, uses that can have you saying you’ve accomplished something with your time spent on them.
Top 7 Actual Uses for Your Next Social Media Visit:
- Next time you’re on Facebook, write a message to someone you’ve never written too before. They are your friends, right? Treat them that way. Find out how they are really doing.
- Look up the news. No, not that the weather’s crappy, you can do that by looking outside. I mean actual news. Follow some local real news stations and see what they have going. An election is coming up, find out more about the candidates, find out what your friends think. You know, education. Your news doesn’t have to come in small sound bites, you can delve.
- Do some research! It doesn’t have to be Vroom’s Theory of Expectancy Motivational Theory (I pity all the people who need to watch this video, including myself). It can be as simple as finding a reliable babysitter! Get advice on fixing your car! Ask for reviews. People love to help and there are social networks specifically for this purpose.
- Raise awareness. If a charity, such as your beloved WarmToes, is having an event, share it with people. Liking something is a pat on the head, sharing is participating and actually helping.
- Do something real world focused through the social media. Take a hint from this blog, she used twitter to arrange an event of local musical artists. Now, I’m not into the music scene, but supporting local talent is always a great thing and she started it with Twitter!
- Find a community and add to it. That’s the great thing about the internet, there’s thousands of weirdos just like you and me out there, connect with them and become part of something by contributing value.
- Put something meaningful up as your next post.
That last one is the big one. How will you know if its meaningful? People will remember it tomorrow. The next time you see them in person they’ll ask you about it instead of the wet cat in the toilet picture you re-tweeted. That’s how you’ll know you’ve done something good with your time on social media.
Use the tool, don’t let it use you.
And if you can’t use this tool better, if you can’t evolve and use it for something beyond wasting your very valuable time, if you just can’t fathom an internet without kitten photos, do this instead, and stop dragging down the rest of us.