I have accounts on a number of social media platforms, including Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Mobofree (where I am Business Development Partner for Nigeria), Tagged, and recently Twoo. I am not equally active on all platforms, but there is no doubt that my greatest activity is on Twitter. There, I generally kick off my shoes, unwind and have fun. I also do some brand promotion for Mobility.
I am also aware of several other social media sites set up for you to meet people. I was asking myself, How many people have I really met through social media? How social is social media? Do I run it as an alternate reality where I can get aware from the problems of this reality/world, or do I actually convert some of those connections into real world contacts to enhance my experience of this world?
Enabler or Alternate Reality?
My social media audit shows that I have made a number of significant connections from those platforms that have been converted to real world contacts. Some of us have grown to become very good friends and/or business associates. My experience in the real world has definitely been – and still is being – enhanced by converting a choice few social media connections into real world contacts, both for business and personal interactions.
Now, should the hype of Twitter or Facebook or any other such platform fade, I am definitely going to stay connected with those people, as we regularly interact via phone calls, SMS, IM, email and even meet in person. That’s using social media as an enabler. Of course, I have no problems with anyone opting to use it otherwise. We all have different experiences and hence different needs.
Anonymity versus Privacy
I understand that there are those who for privacy reasons stay anonymous on social media. I think that defeats the purpose. Truth is, once you’re there, there’s not much you can do to stay anonymous.
However, you can still use social media and keep a good level of privacy. An example is if you use it for the promotion of your group or business brand, and so keep your handle and tweets strictly official and impersonal.
Are there other use case scenarios that are significantly different from the afore-mentioned ones?
How do you use social media? As an enabler or as an escape? Please do share.