So what is social media anyway? Is it this whole web 2.0 thing? Or is it Twitter? What does it mean to blog?

These are things people seem to be confused about. They are second nature to me, but I often find myself in discussions where people don’t truly understand the power this holds.

Social media is just communication.

NOTE: If you haven’t read the beginning of this series or the previous post, do.

Think of the telephone. I bet there were plenty of people that never picked up a phone or wanted to be involved with it. They likely thought it was ridiculous to not write someone a letter and wait for The Pony Express to pick it up.

I bet people made the comment “I don’t even know how to turn one one!” And they were likely proud of the fact they were ignorant and unwilling to learn something new.

But then there were those people that embraced it. They saw the potential it had to revolutionize society. To change business. To spread ideas. To change the world.

And it did.

Try to imagine a world without a telephone.

But what if we were no longer talking about the phone, but rather, social media?

Could it revolutionize communication? Change the way we connect with people? Change the world?

Certainly.

And that’s why I say that social media is just communication.

It’s new (sorta). It’s frustrating. It’s different.

But it’s here to stay. Just like the telephone.

3 Things You Must Understand to Thrive

I believe there are 3 key things you must have in order to make it with social media though. We have touched on them throughout this series so far, but here they are in bite-sized pieces.

  1. Integrity – You must be yourself…your true self. People will research you. They will find out anything they want to know about you, and sometimes more. This could be a friend, family member, stalker, company or any number other people. You must have integrity, no exceptions!
  2. Discretion – Need I really tell you to be careful what you share? I think someone does. We want to know who you are, yes, but we don’t need to know every detail of your life. There are limits to what should be shared and they will vary from person to person. Just keep in mind that a future employer or even your children will likely see it at some point. (And don’t tell people when you’re out of town for 3 weeks)
  3. Commitment – Commit to being involved or not. There’s no need to pick 17 social networking sites and only update them once every 3 months. Pick one. Or two. However many you can handle and make sense for you. Commit to sharing important information that is relevant to you, your business/career and will help others along the way.

Of course, there is more to it than these three, but mostly anything will fit into one or all of the them. If you’re going to make it in this new economy, you’re going to have to understand how this works. It’s not an option.

We only know who you are based on what you share. This has been true since the beginning of time and will never change.

The change that has taken place is simply that there is now a global outlet for ideas that has never been there before.

Possibilities

Hopefully by now you’re starting to get the idea of the sheer number of possibilities we have today. And maybe you’re starting to understand the importance of social media in your life.

I typically write from the point of view of an entrepreneur. But that doesn’t mean these are the only people I’m talking to. This sort of thing applies to everyone because we need everyone.

I came across and incredible quote from Zig Ziglar and it made me realize that my thinking on this subject is very similar to his. It says:

”Did you know that every human being is created with a purpose and that they have a responsibility to not only discover their purpose but also to fulfill it?”

– Zig Ziglar

That plays into today’s world so well it’s not even funny! Think about the power we now have to impact someone’s life via social media. That’s incredible!

We have a purpose and our job is to fulfill it! It’s our duty as living breathing human beings!

I am just about the business of doing that. Stick around and we’ll grow together, discovering our way and building others up as we go.

So as we leave this section, I’ll use Zig’s words…“See you at the top!”

What are your questions about how social media affect our lives? Do you have any stories of how it has affected a job for you or someone you know? Share in the comments!