Written by Jennifer Stringer, who provides content marketing, social media and direct communications management for Gracie Communications’ clients
I believe social media’s power is harnessed mostly for good. Social media brings awareness to a community need, educates people and mobilizes them.
For example, we donated some time to help Lemonade Day better use social media to get kids excited about setting up lemonade stands around Indianapolis, teaching them about entrepreneurship in the process. I am going to be making a tissue donation to the Susan G. Komen Tissue Bank because I heard on Facebook about the need for minority women to provide samples for breast cancer research.
Despite its power to do good, there are still some things I hate about social media. Here’s just a few:
1. Social media has not lived up to the promise of diversifying the voices/ideas that are heard and shared. As Jay Baer pointed out, the social media profession is not diverse by a long shot. I know this personally from being the only African American woman in the room more times than I want to count.
2. People who use the number of Twitter followers or a Klout score to validate their importance. Take for example, the recent brouhaha over who should be in the #social46 social media crew for Super Bowl 2012. Most of those who felt slighted did come around to realize that it wasn’t about them – it was about promoting all of the fun, wonderful happenings and places in Indianapolis. But I suspect there are still some bruised egos out there.
3. I hate to hear about someone’s death on FB and Twitter, whether it’s someone I know or a famous person. I think of how awful it would be for a friend or family member to find out about someone’s death from a tweet. My point is: I think social media is not the medium for all messages.
4. The tendency to tweet first, confirm later. Peyton Manning and Joe Paterno were the most recent victims of this practice. When incorrect information is posted, tweeted, retweeted, the only case it makes is that social media is a vehicle for shoddy citizen journalism.
Love it or hate it? What things about social media would you add to either column?