(Note: A few weeks ago I took a look at social media from the business perspective – today, I approach it from the personal side)
I have a confession to make.
Before I blurt it out, a French lesson:
Plus ca change, plus c’est la meme chose
I first heard this phrase when I was in high school – it was in a song called “Circumstances” by Rush. I quickly figured out that it was a well worn cliche – for good reason.
It means “the more things change, the more they stay the same“.
Since I was only 18 at the time, I hadn’t been through enough of my life to really have that phrase resonate with me. With the benefit of 30 more years behind me, it now rings loud and clear.
Basic human nature has not changed, at least in my lifetime.
We all want to belong – to be a part of something bigger than ourselves. We want to be recognized and appreciated. We want to be liked, and perhaps even be considered popular. We like to hang with the “in” crowd, or conversely, flaunt our independence.
Some personalities are bubbly, some are smug. Some are quiet, others are sanctimonious. Some are positive, some, pessimistic.
What’s changed are the venues in which we display these desires and traits. Take Social Media, for example. After spending about 8 months straight on Twitter, I realized that even though it was a new and different place for interaction, the essence of the interactions had not changed from those venues of old (like high school and college, for example) . We were still going after those same wants and likes, and we still encountered a wide variety of personalities.
Which brings me back to that confession.
I admit, part of me wants to be popular (so yes, I keep track of my number of followers like a baseball score). I like to have my blog posts and Tweets appreciated (and responded to). Being part of a Twitter “pack” is pretty cool. I want to belong. I don’t like it when I follow someone (who’s not a spammer) and they don’t follow me back (i.e. rejection).
I don’t necessarily want to have these kind of feelings, and I can approach them with a bit more detachment most of the time, but as an active participant in the medium I can’t help but occasionally get pulled into their orbit. And I’m sure I’m not the only one on Twitter that feels that way.
Even though Social Media is constantly evolving to “mix in” commercial and financially orientated uses and content, I believe there will always be the undercurrent of pure human wants and needs.
Why else would we continue to call it “Social” Media?.
Same humans, different venue.