Social Media Strategy

Making mistakes in making connections

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Mistakes happen.

Some have said that death, taxes, change are inevitable and I would add mistakes to that category.  Errors, gaffs, missteps, flubs are the pathos of human beings. It’s as if we should say, “we breathe, therefore we mess up”.

And it’s no different in the realm of social media.

You hastily put out a comment, quip at a customer or don’t read through an article properly and share it learning only later it contained information that was offensive and then just like that you are in crisis mode. In my case this past week, I sent out a news release en masse without adequately vetting the recipient list.

I’m usually a measure four times cut once kind of girl but at the time I was trying to manage getting our house ready to sell, coordinate with the carpet cleaner, and entertain two exuberant girls and calm some nervous hounds.

In other words, I was in the throes of being a living, breathing honest-to-goodness human being.

I am a reformed perfectionist but parenthood quickly cures you of that (or sends you straight to the bottle!) Mistakes used to sit with me for days, weeks and even years worming their way inside that place in my lizard brain that tells me I am lacking. Now, I am able to let it go and give myself the empathy I have long shown to others.

Constant exposure to f-ing up, as one experiences when you spending your days (and nights) with small children, has helped. No parent is without a whole whack of head-shaking mistakes as the learning curve is so steep. Raising children forces you to be adaptable and more willing to take risks.

The best part of embracing my human-ness is how less hostile and aggressive the world looks now. Suspected barbs become someone having a barbaric day and a sharp email is the simply a overwhelmed sender in a hurry.

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It’s so much easier this way, particularly when you are immersed in social media. Despite the many ways to insert emoticons into correspondence the reality is that without looking directly into someone’s face, you really can’t discern what they mean. Human communication is primarily non-verbal and here we are constructing platforms that remove that essential piece from daily (and near constant) interactions.

Miscommunications are bound to happen.

I learned last week that, for some, that distance and disassociation found in our digital lives has created a harder harsher response to something that should be par for the course (How dare someone actually send me some information in this digital age?! The nerve!)

In others, I experienced the changes I have found on my own path into social media. I found them also conscious of being softer, kinder and willing to educate instead of ridicule or reject just because it’s really hard to convey nuances over 40 characters.  And most importantly I found openness.

Openness – whether it’s a willingness to even come to the table or to create the feast – is what social media is all about.

Sharing is caring, right?

What do you think – has your relationship with social media made you more open or closed?

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