There’s an old African proverb that says, “When an old man dies, a library burns to the ground.” Okay, so it’s not the most uplifting quote in the world, people, but the person who came up with this proverb had a good point: Each person is a unique library. Everybody’s got their own set of experiences and knowledge that influenced the person they’ve become today.
What I like most about social media is the infinite opportunities it provides for exchanging knowledge with other people, whether it’s Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, blogging and so on. I get such a kick out of it when I’ve passed on a bit of my knowledge with someone and they say “Hey, I didn’t know that!” Now it’s become my favorite phrase to hear in social media. (Sometimes I get to say it to them, too.)
And that is the essence of social media — sharing and interacting with others. However, some people still don’t quite get it. They make social media about themselves, first and foremost. I wince when I see a tweet that says “Retweet me!” because if it’s interesting enough, I’ll retweet it anyway. Other tweets, such as those on #writing, are only quotations and nothing BUT quotations. (Snore…) Still other tweets I click on turn out to be about pushing a product or service, rather than trying to create a relationship first between buyer and seller.
I’ve seen this lack of sharing on Facebook pages, too. Some business-oriented Facebook pages are “sell, sell, sell”. But I’ve also viewed some excellent Facebook pages where lots of interesting information is posted — upcoming events I might want to attend, educational videos, and informative articles that may be written by the business or that come from another source entirely. I admire these Facebook pages because they show that the creator truly has the readers’ best interests at heart. Yes, they’re selling products and services, too, but they’re entertaining and educating you at the same time.
Blogging’s added to my “library” in a host of different ways. People worldwide have shared all sorts of information with me. They’ve recommended books, movies and bookstores I should see, given me great recipes I want to try, shared trivia about historical events or people, made me think more about life, and shown me their photographs of scenes all over the world. I even get to trade quips between my blog and theirs.
And through the magic of my keyboard, I can put up a post I’ve written and get a response from someone halfway around the world within minutes. I still marvel at that.
I’ll keep adding to my library and I hope I’ve added to yours in some small way. Happy Memorial Day weekend, people.