Social Media Grooming

I just came across this phrase today: “Social Media Grooming”.

It is a great phrase and it captures well the systematic way in which the major social media companies entice us to believe that there is a way to win the social media game. If we just tweak this, post that, and shoot a pic at this angle then we can become famous. An influencer.

The bad thing about the social media system is that it is set up for user-distraction. You are the product and you are being manipulated if you play by their rules. If you let them groom you. Grooming….creepy word that one.

There is an alternative to play by your own rules. Focus on what you create. Focus on the content and the ideas you want people to engage with and share. Who precisely do you want to engage with? – not everybody….presuming you are not a Kardashian (thank the Gods).

Be specific. Be intentional. Be free.

Ps, (I write these sorts of posts to preach mainly to myself. I fall down the Social Media rabbit hole all to easily).

Searching for the culture

If you are stuck browsing the internet through the bubbled lens of Twitter or Facebook. It all seems like evidence of people living the way you would like them to live, but it all seems so far away.

If this is you, it might be interesting to search for a someone near to you who is in sync with your point of view and then go and interact with that person face to face.

In terms of audiophiles, it is easy to surround yourself with the videos and images of instagram showing hugely expensive systems, all set up perfectly. However real life is a lot more messy. There are normal everyday people behind that industry, trying to make their music sound the best they can. Find a hifi store, a vinyl market, a local audio visual consultant and interact with them.

They might even need something you have to give, and away you go. You’re part of the community now, and away from the bubbles.

Affirmations

This week I have had two very conflicting experiences on the net. One was a Twitter exchange which devolved rapidly into aggressive one-upmanship. That wasn’t fun and so I am off Twitter (again!) – I just don’t have the time to get good at Twitter.

Another was an invitation by a reader of my blog to answer some questions on music and audio. It was really enjoyable and I see it as a privilege to be asked to write about something I love so much. Rafael’s blog can be found here. I presume my questions and answers will show up soon enough.

On a more personal level, it is really satisfying to get an ad hoc request for writing about audio. That is exactly the sort of thing I want to do more of. So, two affirmations – one with regards to my poor Twitter skills. One encouraging my writing and my love of audio.

On reflection, this has been an excellent and productive week so far 🙂

Humbled through Twitter blocks

I am learning how to use Twitter. An intimidating place sometimes, Twitter for me is a roller-coaster ride of fumbling around. Like a little kid with training wheels on a bicycle I am wobbling through it.

I get stuck wondering what I actually want to say. In real life I am not particularly outspoken which is something I want to change, but what sort of stuff should I start to be outspoken about? As you can see Twitter raises lots of questions for me to grapple with.

Finding people to follow has been relatively easy. It is creating content that is the hard part for me. I get desperate to put stuff out there into the Twitter-sphere, even if I have nothing coherent to say, and it has bad results!

Today I re-tweeted one of my favourite people on Twitter and the result was a block.

To explain, it was a very heavy tweet to re-tweet (Mau-era China resulting in deaths for millions of Chinese) and I added an extremely vague and poorly written comment, tenuously linking the story to Cape Town’s current drought. I kept the guy’s Twitter handle in there, linking him with my post. It was extremely clumsy and didn’t go down well!

 

I am devastated and hope he reconsiders. I have written to him to ask for forgiveness. He is one of my favourite people to follow….dammit! Twitter is not coming naturally but I see there may be huge benefits to persevering.

Trawling for peers

If I follow you on Twitter, I have been trawling through your followers and people you follow with a feverish obsession!

You see, I just re-joined twitter after a long break. Although @chimpwithcans was posting my blog posts automatically, I was not using the service actively. Now I have started actively following and posting, I am trying to find the best people to follow. Trying to find peers.

I am not interested in how many followers a person has, but I am interested in whether they are my type of person. This is hard to measure though. It involves experimentation, dedication to reading posts, trying out following people who I think may be of interest. Dropping those who are not.

I think it could be worth it. Finding a peer group and working with them, intentionally and on a regular basis, would be a great thing to get out of social media.