With the sheer overwhelming volume and variety of social media out there these days, it may seem silly to be actively looking for it. That, however, is exactly what I have been doing in the past few weeks now. As an admitted social media outcast of my own doing, I have no interest in the types of social media that generally come to mind when the topic is mentioned. These, for me at least, are the biggies like Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, and the like. In my proclaimed disinterest of social media platforms, however, there were ones I missed. In fact, I wasn’t even aware that these were social media platforms until it was pointed out to me, and I started actively wondering just how involved in social media I REALLY am.
The most obvious one that was pointed out to me would have to be YouTube. I regularly refer to YouTube videos whenever I run into something I’m unfamiliar with. Using YouTube help, I have fixed my dishwasher, built furniture, and more. I never really thought of YouTube as a social media platform, but as a useful tool to which I could turn when some project or other hit a snag. Of course, I finally clued in once one fellow doing a video said, “be sure to add your comments below.” Sure enough, once I looked for it, there it was. A string of comments, suggestions, and opinions about the video and the process. Some of these comment strings just seem to go on forever. Naturally, some of these threads descend into a vitriolic flame-war, but that’s another whole topic.
Lately, as work on my project car becomes more involved, I have subscribed to a discussion forum so I can ask questions – and hopefully, offer some help to others. Well…that’s unbridled social media involvement right there. Unlike the Facebook and Snapchat-type platforms, this one is quite narrowly focused. One of my big complaints about Facebook et al was the wide-open nature of the content. Sure…you can narrow your “friends” list, but you’re still at the mercy of cat videos, baby, wedding, and vacation pictures, not to mention what everyone had for lunch.
As mentioned in a previous piece, I recently had an online review interaction with someone from across the country, which shows me that there is a constructive and useful side to social media that I hadn’t thought about much…up until now. Not everyone is looking for a flame-war, but one DOES have to stay aware, and keep out of the line of fire.