Wondering Out Loud

Drive by social media

The good news and the bad news of social media are one and the same: Anyone with a computer and Internet access can do it. Whether from home, office, library or another venue, engaging in social media is as easy as opening your favorite browser and getting to it.

Social Media is of the people, for the people and, most importantly, by the people. As wonderful as that is, the fact that it is open to virtually everyone means we, the people, are responsible for the proper use and consumption of social media is all its forms.

What set me off on this journey of pondering is this article from gogamecocks.com, which is the official website of the athletic department at the University of South Carolina. The story is about the women’s basketball coach, Dawn Staley, and how she used Twitter to complain about how she was treated at a local restaurant. According to the story, she had previously used Twitter to rave about the same place. In this case, however, she told her followers she was treated badly and would never return. What happened inside the restaurant hasn’t been made public, so we don’t have all the facts, but the incident got me thinking about using Twitter and other social networking vehicles to lodge complaints.

Again, I don’t know what happened in this case, but, in my opinion, anyone faced with such a situation owes it to the company to bring the complaint to them, in private. I believe it is an abuse of the power we have as social media practitioners to give into the urge to spread word of a transgression as soon and as widely as possible, before engaging with management in an effort to resolve the problem. Let me say again, I don’t know what happened in this instance.

I’m sure there are exceptions, but most times a comany deserves the opportunity to make things right before being publicly pilloried

As consumers of the same social media we have a responsiblilty to view everything through a skeptics lens. Not that anyone is being dishonest, but a 140 character Twitter message, or a 500 word blog post for that matter, is written with built-in biases. In most cases they are biases we don’t understand and can’t detect because we simply don’t know the author well enough. Also, we are only hearing one side of the story and human nature dictates that, when we tell our side of the story, we do so in a way that paints us and our actions in the best light.

Practicing and consuming social media in a responsible way is good for everyone.


July 25, 2009 - Posted by | Social Media | , , , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. […] social media Several months ago I wrote a post about what I considered to be a potential abuse of Twitter. It involved an influential basketball […]

    Pingback by Anti social media « Wondering Out Loud | June 1, 2010 | Reply

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