Your online community is unique. As is mine. As is everybody’s.
Every time you look at Twitter your experience is defined by who you follow, and who follows you.
Your Facebook page contains feeds from a unique combination of friends, family, strangers?, companies, brands and ‘farmville-esque’ app’s – all delivered according to your settings.
Our experience of something defines how we perceive it. Someone’s idea of Social Media based purely on a Twitter account following only celebrities will be very different from someone active on several sites, sharing regularly with friends (and I mean friends, not ‘friends’).
‘Your Social Media is not like My Social Media‘, because yours is unique as is your perception of it.
And it’s this perception thing that interests me.
- A young lad (Franky) connected to his mates on Facebook and YouTube could perceive Social Media as a glorified chat room.
- A small business owner (Jonny) running campaigns on Google+ and Twitter could perceive it as free marketing.
- A lady in a remote African village (Bella) could perceive it as her only link with the world, hope, the future.
They all think their perception is the right one and they all might be right…
Franky enjoys f-ing and blind-ing with his mates, sharing dodgy photos from even dodgier nights out. He enjoys the group nature of it, keeping up with what people are doing and saying real-time.
He dislikes the way that advertising and ‘like me’ post are appearing everywhere. He is also shortly going to dislike the fact that he can’t get a job. His potential new employer just did a standard online check and found a picture of his bits…
Jonny says Hello every now and again, and enjoys the low costs and free tools that are available to help save time. He likes the fact that he can turn it off.
He can’t understand however, why millions of people would want to connect and chat with ‘strangers’. He is also going to shortly get bored with the task of ‘automating posts’. His potential new customers see his online accounts as repetitive and ‘life’-less.
Bella has occasional access through a borrowed tablet and enjoys sharing messages of positivity whilst praying for peace in her village. She enjoys the hope and possibilities it presents.
She dislikes only having limited access. She also dislikes the triviality of a lot of what she finds online.
They are all using it as they perceive it should be used.
Social Media are essentially a collection of communication platforms, identical tools for everyone to use. And it’s just our unique perceptions of what the tools are that defines how we choose to use them.
We are all looking at the same thing but from infinitely different angles.
Try standing back once in a while, and imagine looking at it from various different view points.
What’s your perception?