So everyone thinks different things about social media. (For the unenlightened, I'm referring to Facebook and Twitter, as the most popular examples, and then a huge myriad variety of other "social" sites where users have a profile, connect with one another, and talk about - well - themselves).

And the common complaint from people about "social media" that I hear is something along the lines of,

"That stuff is just so much about self promotion. It all just seems so narcissistic."

Or in other words my words,

"People who use social media are mostly duchebags."

*NOTE: for the record, most of the time the term "social media duchebags" derrogatorially refers to a whole catagory of business professionals who make their living out of advising people in the realm of social media - some are legit and some are definitely - well - duchebags ("snake oil salesmen" is also acceptable).

So I regularly use social media. And I also don't consider myself a duchebag - or at least not for those reasons. The whole point about social media being very self-centered is a very mute point in my opinion. Here's why:

  1. "Social media" doesn't do anything that people don't do.

    All social media outles are is an arena, a context, a microphone, a platform. So people aren't really doing anything with social media that they aren't already doing period. It's just making the stuff people do, say, think, etc. more accessible to more people.

    So if you are a duchebag in real life, you are a duchebag on social media. It's just a microphone for your personality. If you are self-centered offline in your interactions with others, you will be just the same way online. Don't blame social media for that.

  2. There are plenty of good use cases for social media that have nothing to do with personal life details.

    From a marketing and business perspective, I can say I've seen a ton of really great stuff from social media. Some good examples are:

    • Starbucks, Old Spice and other high profile companies using Twitter as a very personal way to engage customers;
    • celebrities and other high profile personalities using Twitter as a way to show their more human side (or not);
    • social media being used to transform traditional media outlets as a source of news and information, and
    • connections restored with long lost peers, family and friends, and new connections quickly built through social outlets.

    Being honest, this point is very secondary to my first point, which I think is the main one. In fact, I just thought of these examples because as my wife likes to say, "I always have to have three points"...but wait, this is only two...haha - she is wrong for once!! Anyway...

So all this to say, before we go bashing social media, or waiting for it to just be a trend that fades into the blue, let's consider that it is after all, just a tool.

Respect the tool. Don't be a duchebag.

*DISCLAIMER: I apologize in advance to all the people who are offended or disgusted at my use of the word "duchebag". Yes you, Mom. I still love you. :-)