I'm not sure why I started following Eduardo's feed on Facebook, but I think it had something to do with wanting an insider's perspective on social media. After reading something he posted this week, as well as the commentary that followed, I'm reminded of how we think our opinion matters more than it does.
Case in point, let's start with Eduardo's comments on Facebook letting its stocks go public:
On the eve of the Facebook public float, 8 plus year in the making, I as co-founder wanted to look back and cherish Facebook's early beginning. Congrats to everyone involved in the project from day one till today, and I especially wanted to congratulate Mark Zuckerberg on keeping tremendous stead-fast focus, however hard that was, on making the world a more open and connected place.Although he's come under fire for some controversy of his own, I appreciate Eduardo's sentiment. Here is the graphic he attached that shows Facebook's early days:
Now... here's the fun part.
Among the many comments that followed, I somehow gravitated to one in particular.
Keep in mind, this is right on the eve of Facebook about to make more money than they know what to do with... which is a problem they already have. Yet here is a person on Facebook threatening to go back to another social network that she left for what appears to be a negative experience.
She's threatening Facebook... on Facebook.
Do you think Facebook is afraid? Are they going to take this comment seriously?
More importantly, does she believe Facebook is going to take this comment seriously?
You'll note that I blurred out her name, because this isn't about her and I'm not trying to poke fun. Rather, it's a revelation that most of us don't realize.
Social media has become about us getting our way... or at least trying to.
Maybe we're just like how Facebook was first founded - only instead of five people who embodied those traits, each person embodies them all. Do you see any of this in your or others online:
- Founder: We believe "I am doing things in my life aren't as important as what's happening in your life. I have the right to say what I want to say without question. I know you share something, but honestly I'm more interested in what I shared... what I'm doing... my latest breakthrough or complaint. You have part of my attention - you have the minimum amount."
- Destroyer: We believe that if we have a bad experience with a person or a local store, the best way to feel vindicated is to destroy them online. If you have an issue with your family or are trying to win over mutual friends in a dispute you have with another person, make sure everyone hears your point of view.
- Brazilian: We believe we're culturally unique and people actually want to see the places we've been, the food we've just eaten, and the place we've flushed it all.
- Lockbox: We believe that if we can get enough people to like/retweet/pin what we say, that we've locked down credibility on what we've said - especially if we can get random friends and strangers to debate with us against any other random friends and strangers who think differently.
- Pressguy: We believe that if we post enough content about how "those guys are morons" (politics, anyone?) or how amazing our latest breakthrough is we can get more people to see life our way and buy our latest product/service/philosophy.
Take a look at the list I created - see if you recognize any patterns in your communication or others. If you find yourself shaking your head, take a second look... which ones are you even unconsciously tempted or bent toward?
Meanwhile, take note that I've ironically used social media to talk about social media. If you've made it thus far, then perhaps you're willing to join me in finding a redemptive purpose for our time online versus ranting and raving about however we're feeling.
Otherwise, how about you just like this, retweet it, and pin it - because "I need more followers."
Who can say, “I have kept my heart pure; I am clean and without sin”? (Proverbs 20:9)