The Power of Social Media

Power Button for Blog PostAnyone who knows me knows how much I believe in the power of social media.

Ever since I started blogging in 2004, I’ve been hooked on the public, open-ended dialogue that takes place online among those who can appreciate the benefits of sharing what they know and how they feel with not only their closest friends and allies, but often with complete strangers as well.

It’s the idea of building communities that I like so much, the notion of broadening one’s horizons to the point where you’re establishing new, mutually-beneficial connections with like-minded people and learning exponentially more about the world at large.

But it’s also how terrific Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and other social media networks – such as the phenomenally popular Pinterest – are for simply maintaining relationships with friends, relatives, colleagues, clients and others with whom there is no other way to stay in touch.

As I wrote about social media in a past post (“Social Media: It’s Personal,” June 16, 2011, A New Marketing Commentator)

Sure, it’s not the same thing as actually sitting down and talking to someone in person, face-to-face. But it’s often the next best thing. And in some cases, it’s the only thing.

Using social media is a great way to connect with people who otherwise might not give you the time of the day because they’re either too busy or have reason to believe they have little in common with you.

Social media is also perfect for keeping in touch with people who it’s impossible to meet up with in person because they simply live or work too far away.

Now I wouldn’t go so far as to suggest that social media should replace actual in-person, interpersonal communications. Not at all. I feel the same way my dear parents do when they express concern that some people, especially teenagers, are becoming so accustomed to texting, tweeting, hanging out online and the like that they’re not learning the verbal, writing and socializing skills that should be part and parcel of anyone’s communications repertoire.

But I have to admit that I love the fact that I have over 700 friends on Facebook, more than 3,000 followers on Twitter and nearly 900 connections on LinkedIn.

I love the immediacy and extemporaneousness of social media, the camaraderie, collegiality and conviviality that’s associated with such online communications channels.

Most of all, I love that social media can bring all of us – yup, even complete strangers – so close together in between our real-world, offline engagements and encounters or when there may be no other opportunities for interaction at all.

To me, that’s the power of social media. To me, this relatively new way of communicating is not just good for relationships, professional and personal, it’s great.

What about you? Do you agree with me? Please don’t hesitate to weigh in on this topic by leaving a comment below. Thanks.

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