Your social media attitude might be problematic

Our local newspaper recently posted an insightful piece on the use of social media in municipal politics.

The post made some amazing points.  For example:

  • That our local social media community doesn't care about politics, politicians, or elections;  
  • That traditional media does politicians a favor by editing out the useless drivel they spew;
  • That social media isn't used by old people (sorry mom);
  • That social media users only think they're involved in political discourse, but in fact they're no where near citizen participation.  

We couldn't agree more.

Except that (and back to reality):

  • Our social media community not only cares about municipal politics, it self organizes to increase participation;
  • If traditional media is flogging "editing" as a golden feature for users, well, we'll decide for ourselves what's worth our time and what's not (but thanks for the offer);
  • Some of the largest social media networks on earth are experiencing their largest growth from an older demographic of users;
  • Social media is a process not an event.  Measuring the depth of participation by individual 140-character snippets is like trying to understand the odyssey by only reading the preface.

Note to traditional media: Quit vilifying and get involved.  Authentically.  Or be the cranky old guy at the party that no one wants to talk to...or worse, talk about.