So I was thinking about social media and social networking and how difficult it is to get a handle on the different ways people understand them. It’s a big mashup of old school and personality and metrics that don’t mean anything and bots and fake news and broadcasters and networkers.
What’s a social media strategist to do?
First, it’s important to stop thinking media necessarily ne start thinking network. Think neuron. Don’t think laser. If you want to get electrical about it.
Next think aloneness and blinking screens that make you feel anxious but sort of reassured when they’re on because they give the illusion of voice when actually your sitting silently tapping on glass.
Then think consumerism because sitting quietly is boring and disconcerting and when you shop at least it feels like you’ve taken an action and moved in the misty digital ether.
But then you feel poorer and stupid for spending money and you know that you’ll just add that news pair of sneakers or useless kitchen implement to the pile of stuff you never use but feel guilty for owning when you hear about refugees or the working poor.
At the base of this dilemma for the social marketer is the difference between representation and reality and where the two mix and don’t.
So… digitally everything is representation but in the physical world everything is action. A digital action is just a representation of an action so it feels hollow and unsatisfactory and lifeless and fake. I feel that’s what make us do outrageous things online that we wouldn’t in the real physical world. The digital is the expression of our mind actions whereas the the physical is about how it feels intense when you stub your toe.
Social media communications and marketing success comes when you can somehow make the representation taitkmal digital world and the physica action world cohere together.