Facebook is a Waste of Time

Filed in Twitter 10 comments

Faces for posterity

. . .  and Twitter is for Dummies, and Friendfeed, well, that’s way over the top!

Just how is one supposed to counter .  . . and even live with . . . people who just don’t “get it” i.e., that the world has changed dramatically?

Everything never changes. Something has changed and it impacts everything else.” [Quoting John Naisbitt in Robert Scoble’s Naked Conversation]

SOCIAL MEDIA impacts everything . . . now and in our future. So back to my original question, What do we say to anyone — particularly from my BabyBoomer generation and older? How do we share our enormous excitement about the possibilities for the world, for our friends and family, and for ourselves as individuals?

Personally, I believe I have a distinct advantage when it comes to answering the question, mainly because just three months ago, I was telling a friend that his use of Facebook three hours a day was a huge waste of his life.

What has happened to me?

First off, I have remembered that Open Minded-ness is key to Critical Thinking and as such I needed to check out the BUZZ before categorically dismissing a phenomenon that has captured the attention of millions in one way or another: MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, Friendfeed, YouTube, and countless numbers of blogs.

What helped me most was Twitter, which surprisingly still is a mystery to so many people I talk with — but, of course, not to the vast majority of people who will read this blog post.

I’m not a cellphone texter, so that particular use of Twitter didn’t seem relevant. Initially I wondered if this great new technology could be molded into a teaching tool, i.e., to force my students to write something of substance in only 140 characters. The essence of good writing is clarity and conciseness.

Playing with Twitter

While I liked developing that “writing with Twitter” idea, however, I began playing with Twitter, i.e., following people, reading their updates, posting some of my own — especially “retweeting,” re-posting a particularly good update. Most of all, though, I was reading on a daily basis just what all this social media was about and the great benefits it has to offer.

And now I’m hooked.

In a nutshell, social media is allowing us all to share our research and our thoughts and, yes, our products/services with a community of like-minded individuals whose lives can be enriched by being connected to us through the Internet.

Like most knowledge, the more you learn, the more you realize there is so much more “out there” and that’s the primary reason for this blog — to help me learn more and to answer the question, “Why Social Media is NOT a waste of our time.”

Please let me know about any conversations you’ve had when people have told you that blogging, Facebook, Twitter, etc. are all “a waste of time.”

Next post: Facebook for Business

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Posted by Shari Weiss   @   3 May 2009
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Comments
May 4, 2009
9:43 am
#1 Les Ross :

Shari,
Like you I suddenly have seen the enormous power behind Twitter.

Who could have thought a few years ago that there would be a simple process that allowed you to not only find people with great influence in your field with ease and learn from their remarks, but also allowed you to join in their conversations and share your own views with them!

Not only that, but that these same conversations you have online would result in new business connections asking to be linked with you…imagine if your business cell phone conversations could have the same impact!

That is the amazing aspect of Twitter that is still mind boggling for me.

I have not had anyone come to me and say Twitter is a “waste of time”. That is because most of my business colleagues have never tried it.

Yet, they spend thousand of dollars every year going to conferences trying to make “connections” that often do not turn into any tangible business.

What they fail to realize is that an hour of Twittering each week would cover a broader field and yeild far better connections because people who follow you on Twitter do so by choice and not by a hard sell.

And the best part is that it is free…how can that be a waste of time?

Les

http://www.highlanderllcconsulting.com

May 13, 2009
6:19 pm
#2 sharisax :

Now, Chuck, the next step after reading is to COMMENT and add your two cents, dollar, etc. 🙂

May 4, 2009
1:29 pm
#3 sharisax :

Les, I had to smile when I read that your business associates didn’t think Twitter was a “waste of time” because they’d never tried it. We both realize that, given time and more understanding — they will be Tweeting with the rest of us.

I also like the fact that you pointed out how much money businesses spend to make connections at conferences — which, then, don’t pan out. One of the factors people seem to forget is that relationships are not one-shot deals. Friends, community members, and customers do not remain close to us if we only “use” them; relationships are not automatic; nor can they be maintained and grow without give-and-take.

May 4, 2009
4:28 pm
#4 Stephen Giusti :

Many of my friends still have no idea what Twitter is or what it’s about. A huge percentage of them don’t want to know simply because, they say, “I don’t want people knowing what I am doing.” A valid point, but I respond to them by saying you don’t have to post anything you don’t want to.
Twitter is about seeing what people are doing in a proactive way, like meeting people who are interested in the same things as you, and meeting their friends and having them meet your friends, and so on and so on. There is also the entertainment factor to it as well, like finding out what people’s plans are for the weekend. Try as I might, many of friends will probably never tweet.

May 4, 2009
5:00 pm
#5 sharisax :

Never say “never,” Stephen. I remember myself saying I’d never be in MySpace or Facebook. I’m still not on MySpace, but as Alex Schultze told us, if 300 million are there, then I should be, too.

Perhaps that same idea will come to your friends who are ignoring Twitter — at the moment.

May 5, 2009
1:21 am
#6 John Paul Bobay :

To be honest, I was very quick to dismiss the original wave of interest in social networking sites. I considered Facebook and Myspace to be a complete waste of time. I think my brain was associating this kind of nonsense with the likes of a trashy reality show. My professor Shari Weiss inspired me to think from a different perspective. Her viral enthusiasm encouraged me to use this technology as social media marketing.

Since I adopted Twitter into my life I have accomplished much more than I ever thought. I corresponded with Jack Dorsey, resulting in an awe inspiring presentation to our PR class. I began Tweeting with Jack DeYoung (VP of Label Relations) at Grooveshark to help me promote local music artists. In addition, Axel Schultz (Founder of Social Media Academy) and I began Tweeting which has now developed into an outstanding internship opportunity. In only the span of a month, my world completely changed. Now I can’t imagine living without such tools. Jack Dorsey made a similar realization about his company. “When Twitter is no longer a phenomena but fully integrated into our culture, I will be satisfied.”

May 6, 2009
12:29 pm
#7 sharisax :

JP, you certainly have become engaged! And the benefits to your life — and ours — is just beginning. This certainly is a joyous ride down Revolutionary Road, full of twists and turns and ups and downs, but definitely leading towards an awesome horizon. Thanks for bringing Jack Dorsey to us and thanks for all your continued enthusiasm. It really is phenomenal to see that any ONE of us can make things happen. Keep on keeping on.

Jan 31, 2010
3:54 pm
#8 Maurice L. Ainsworth :

Social media, what is it really? Does it justify isolation? Does it provide an escape from reality? Does it promote deception? I, think so. However, this is the direction the world is headed in. We have no choice in the matter. I understand, for myself, that I need to be conscious of my being while I am in these cyber environments. They are not real, but they are reality.

I spend a few moments on facecrack on a daily basis. I love Zynga Texas Holdem Poker. I have come in contact with many of my Jr. High and High School folks. It’s a beautiful thing, but its no substitute for the human to human experience. Whatever I feel, I display, good, bad, or indifferent. This helps me cope with thinking that everyone there is a fraud. If I am trustworthy, I will be less likely to doubt you.

Author Jan 31, 2010
4:00 pm

Interesting thoughts, Maurice . . .some I agree with, some are grist for discussion, e.g., “Does it justify isolation?” and “Does it provide an escape from reality?”

Actually all of your questions are interesting to think about and I suspect we will, in fact, discuss them in class during the next few weeks. Thank you for your thoughtful comments.
Shari

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