I suspect that social media is popular because it gives everyone a form of expression, regardless of what platform(s) you decide to use. If you're a shutterbug, you've got Instie to play on, if you have half baked quips, you can tweet your heart out, and if you like collecting people, there's Facebook. But what's even better is that every now and then, people take a few moments from self-promotion to respond to other's people inane thoughts. The inspiration of this statement was my dining experience this week. As some of you may remember, I've been fine-dining in jeans and a t-shirt before, so it shouldn't be that shocking that I'd decide to go out to dinner immediately after working out. But then there's a wait, and my two roommates leave me by myself to go pick up one of their credit cards. So now I'm looking slumpy AND alone.
So I take out my phone to look busy, and decide to tweet, "Alone and sweaty @CapitalAleHouse. #LifeIsGood #rva."
Then I put my phone away and people watch a bit. My roommates make it back, and we eventually get a table. We dine on $2 burgers and ginger ale (okay, so the ginger ale was only me). And then we go home.
I hop back on Twitter, like I do most nights before bed. AND THEN I NOTICED THAT CAP ALE RETWEETED AND FAVORITED MY TWEET! Lawd, I was cracking up. I tag people constantly in tweets, and everyone ignores me. Except for the one time I tweet something minimally embarrassing and rather silly. Being listened to is fun.
And I would go as far to say I'm not the only one that thinks so. Part of my job is monitoring our social media accounts, so I run searches multiple times a day with various spellings of our names. And I respond to people that are talking to us or about us. And it usually catches people off guard, and I love it. Most of the time, people appreciate it, but every now and then people are just complaining and not actually looking to engage in conversation with me.
But let's focus on the good: people genuinely seem excited when I reply, favorite or retweet them. They thank me for listening, they throw us a follow, or shout us out. And I like it because it's content I don't have to produce. So let's do that more often: listen. There's a lot of good stuff happening on social media, if only we all actually listened to each other.