Last night, I went to a networking event and met a guy named David. We discussed the usual small talk: “what do you do, where do you work and what do you like?” After we made attempts to sell ourselves to one another the pressure faded and we were left to talk about what would come naturally to us. He asked me: What does social media mean to you? (Before I answer, I have to tell you that I’m new to the industry and I pride myself on being completely honest with myself and others, this way I can never be disappointed with myself and continue towards what I feel is right.)
I replied: “that social media is frivolous or superficial at best. It’s shallow; it’s convinced everyone that the internet is a shameless popularity contest. I can shake hands, charm the room and get my quota of fifty business cards by the end of the evening, go home and plug all these names into my network, throw the cards away and never contact these people again. Except, for the far and distant chance that I’ll need them, and even in the slightest probability of me actually needing them, would I remember them? Or, more importantly would they remember me?”
Sure, I could be that guy, the tacky ornament at the party that graces every single person in the room with their handshake. Or, I could save some face and talk to David for the remaining of the evening and actually enjoy myself. I feel as if this nauseating ride that Facebook and Twitter are taking us on has got to reach a pinnacle soon and with it, we can start getting back to networks that matter. Why the heck do I want thousands of followers, or friends on Facebook? The human mind is only capable of recognizing a few hundred faces, at best; I can’t even recognize all the so called friends on my personal Facebook account. I think this myth of building connections has reached an over inflated point of no return and we should be more focused on relating with one another. Now I hate being cliché but I guess what I’m trying to say is we should be aiming for quality over quantity. David was kind of taken back by my response and openness, as was I when he agreed with me.