Understanding Social Media: The Power and Implications of Its Usage

by John Zajaros on July 18, 2010

How to Use Social Media Effectively: A Lesson in Overlap, Privacy, and the Power of a Tweet

Social media is the newest toy, a fad, a phase, a resource, a platform for social expression, a political weapon, a marketing platform, a symptom, a pathology, a paradox, a conundrum, a black hole….


Social media may be all of the above and more. In fact, social media is whatever you want it to be…because you define your experience!

Or do you?!

Ultimately, only time will tell. As with everything new, and in the grand scheme of things social media is in its infancy, in geological terms an instant in time (or less), there will be myriad changes before anything approaching its final expression will emerge.

The ultimate social media question, particularly interesting from an anthropological perspective may be:

What will social media look like in its final form, if a final form is indeed possible, or will it simply evolve until it eventually goes extinct? Will social media go the way of the Yo-Yo, the hoola hoop, console televisions, the Sony Walkman, the Commodore computer, Atari, the American Football League, the USFL, the Brooklyn Dodgers, and the Milwaukee Braves?

Think of all the things that were “here to stay” in your lifetime. I’ll bet you can name quite a few. Where are many of them now?

If we can bank on one thing, it is the attention span of the public, or lack thereof, the public here in the USA and around the world. It is fleeting!

Doubt it? For those of you who have been using Twitter for the last couple of years, how many of the people you connected with, “tweeted” with on a daily basis two years ago are still around? Of the ones who disappeared, I would be willing to bet many are still following you…they have simply vanished! And I am talking about people you really hit it off with, not the plethora of entrepreneurs engaging with you in an attempt at “relationship marketing” (a.k.a., social media marketing – an oxymoron), I am talking about people you conversed with daily about everything!

They are gone! Lost interest. Didn’t pay. Whatever!

Retention is social media is beyond the scope of this post but it is in the mix. Why? Because as social media continues to evolve on its way to a final form or extinction, it is going to reveal a lot about its users and about how society uses information.

And that is the reason for this post dealing with social media!

I came across this slide presentation dealing with social media at length on SlideShare and it is brilliant, thought-provoking, and even a bit frightening. I guarantee you haven’t thought of everything this man has. This SlideShare presentation is worth your time to read and digest because it is instructive, informative, and…a warning!

Social media is all of the above and none of the above mentioned manifestations. But whatever it is to you, it is a resource for others, an information base that is being compiled for a myriad of reasons.

So, be careful what you share on social media because regardless of how you perceive social media, there are others who will USE what your share differently; and, ultimately, for their own purposes!

Enjoy the slide show! It is worth the time!

John Zajaros
The Ultimate Internet Image
Lakewood, Ohio 44107
Skype: johnzajaros1

PS, Please leave a comment if you like it…or if you don’t!

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