With all the “me,” where’s the “we” and the “you?”
“…but enough about me, lets talk about you…what do you think about me?”
The share of adult Internet users who have a profile on an online social network site has more than quadrupled in the past four years — from 8% in 2005 to 35% in 2008*
Have you noticed? Social media is blowing up these days and I believe one of the biggest reasons for that, is that it gives us all a chance to say, “LOOK AT ME!” I invite you to stand “on the outside” as you take a look inside of what’s motivating (some of) us to become so active with social media, as it has certainly reached its tipping point. Allow me to explain the “Look at me” perception, by reading between the lines of many people’s usage of social media.
Consider these translations:
Facebook = “Look at me … my pictures … my 1,500 ‘friends!'”
LinkedIn = “Look at how successful I am, how many successful people I know and how connected I am.”
Twitter = “Look at what I’m doing RIGHT NOW!”
Of course, this does not apply to everyone but it seems at least prevalent enough to be … noticeable. Do you recognize the “Me Monster” in any of your recent posts?
I’ll admit that I’ve been grappling with how to deliver this message without offending anyone. But, as an active user – both personally and professionally – of social media, I can’t help but notice how me-centric many of our posts have become.
Have you noticed that billions of dollars are being spent on advertising products that contain (“i,” “me,” “my,” and “you?”) Did you know you can even register a “.me” (dot-me) web site? I just went to see about “www.LookAtMe.me” … it’s already taken. Social media gives us all a voice and we can choose to use that voice for good … or take a one-way trip to me-ville. Choose to use your power for good. Ask yourself, “How can I be a source of value for my friends, colleagues and clients?”
Here are three ways to get outside yourself and place the focus on others:
1. Spread the news
Have you ever unsubscribed from an eNewsletter? Most of us have, often because we no longer see what’s in it … for us. Take a new approach. Instead of reading eNewsletters solely for yourself, skim the headlines and think of someone you know that would enjoy each article, then pass it on. It takes only seconds but the recipient will know you were thinking of them. You could also quickly and easily post it to Twitter, LinkedIn and/or Facebook. You can also take it to the next level by clipping something out of a newspaper or magazine and mailing it to someone.
2. Make introductions
One of the coolest things about having an online network of friends and associates is that you can easily take on the role of “connector.” This is such a rewarding practice, but I haven’t quite figured out why it isn’t more common. A few months ago, I introduced a couple of friends via e-mail. Suzi (an executive coach who lives in Maryland) and Adam (a copywriter who was living in Florida). I thought there might be some synergy there and saw a way for them to benefit from each others’ expertise. Suzi and Adam became fast friends, helping and supporting each other’s businesses. Then something really big happened – Suzi made a connection for Adam with a company in Colorado. Adam eventually moved from Florida to Colorado to work for that company. He’s now living exactly where he wanted to be and is involved in some very challenging and rewarding work. It’s nice to see a great friend so happy.
3. Promote others
Life is not a zero-sum game. When you give, that doesn’t mean there will be less for you. There’s enough for everyone, yet I see many people living with a scarcity mentality. Selfishness is transparent. No one likes a me-monster who’s only looking out for his or her own interests and benefit. What are your friends, colleagues & clients “up to?” Share those events, news stories, blogs, etc. with your friends on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and in everyday conversation. As John F. Kennedy put it, “A rising tide lifts all boats.” Be that rising tide.
Who do you know that’s already providing great value to others? Share your thoughts by clicking on “comments” near the top of this article.
“You can have everything in life you want if you will just help enough other people get what they want.”