Social Media Won’t Make You Smarter, So Why Do It?


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…the Kardashians of the world never put food on YOUR table

We read statements like these all the time – connect with me on LinkedIn, follow me on Twitter, like my Facebook page…blah, blah, blah. Seems like people use social media more to boost their ego than to get to know those they connect with. So why bother?

Social Media Won't Make You Smarter

“How many Instagram followers do you have”? “Did you see my latest Snapchat?” “I just posted another of my videos to YouTube, you gotta check it out”. Does it really matter?

When we “connect” or “follow” someone are we more interested in learning something new or to have easy access to the latest gossip? Our desire to attract “likes” perpetuates a false reality when thinking a bigger “circle of influence” makes you more important.

It reminds me of what Bette Midler said in the movie Beaches: “Enough about me, what do YOU think about me?”

Now, I must admit that, since I am relatively new to social media I did spend more time initially “building my network” than paying attention to who I connected with. I thought I “needed” to have a large following or connect with everyone who asked? But what did that get me? I’m still trying to figure that out.

Over the past few months I’ve taken a different approach:

If I am going to spend time on social media I want to make it worthwhile.
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I am inquisitive by nature and try to learn something new whenever I can. With that in mind I went back through my various connections to see who shares my views on customer service and is willing to help advance the cause as I am.

I didn’t realize the wealth of free information that was readily available from the leaders in my field…and the very same people that I have already connected with. Wow, this is great!

I started to watch their podcasts, YouTube training videos and of course I subscribed to their newsletters. My email inbox turned into my own personal library just waiting for me to absorb their knowledge they so willingly share.

My next step is to get to know many of my connections better. Whether through email, phone calls or video chats, let’s try to help each other and share information when we can. Otherwise, just reading 140 characters a few times a day gets boring quickly. Don’t you agree?

If we care more about what the Kardashians of the world are doing versus gaining knowledge from real industry influencers, that is actionable in our personal or professional lives, we are on the road to ruin.

>Knowing Justin Bieber’s latest escapade or the sex of Beyonce’s child will not help you pay bills nor provide for your family.

>Tweeting out a twerking video never helped anyone pass a test or achieve a certification needed for that desired promotion.

>Sharing the new Snapchat puppy-face overlay won’t help someone learn the best way to get funding for their business startup or create an elevator-pitch that will lead to a successful job interview.

So why do it?

I’m told that it’s a release from the tensions of the day, an escape from stress. Ok, I’ll give you that.

But when your tensions fade, stop! Disconnect from the pabulum. Shut out the malaise of the entertainment world. Say no to the insipid ramblings of people that have no meaning in your life.

We’ve had 10+ years of social media that hasn’t created anything other than an obsessive infatuation with tawdry fluff.

Let’s make the next 10 years a boundless learning experience reap with the sharing of real-world tips and tactics that can, and will, help us improve and expand our possibilities.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Steve DiGioia
Steve uses his 20+ years of experience in the hospitality industry to help companies and their employees improve service, increase morale and provide the experience their customers' desire. Author of "Earn More Tips On Your Very Next Shift...Even If You're a Bad Waiter" and named an "ICMI Top 50 Customer Service Thought Leader" and a "Top Customer Service Influencer" by CCW Digital, Steve continues his original customer service, leadership and management-based writings on his popular blog.


  1. Even in the presence of the most banal, vacuous media and entertainment, aren’t the nerve synapses in our brains being exercised? Hence, learning – however minuscule? I feel utterly ill-equipped to make pronouncements on what’s sufficiently intellectual for people. And so far, our government hasn’t formulated a minimum standard (On that, I believe we’re completely safe for the next four years, or so).

    But let’s run with your thought that some social media is utterly incapable of teaching anything to people, and therefore, people should stop engaging with it when they encounter that situation. Where else would this bleed? Should people stop using social media that was intended to be educational, but fails in achieving that goal? Should we stop doing other things that we do for no other purpose than its being enjoyable? If so, which things – if any – should still be allowed? And who would want to police it?

    I admire your curiosity and share your zeal for learning. But it seems unfair to expect everyone to have the same passion. If a social worker who spends ten hours a day counseling at-risk teens wants to spend two hours at night watching funny cat videos, who am I to judge?

    And, I have a confession to make: I really, really enjoy watching The Three Stooges. I wouldn’t want anyone judging me on that. Then again, I probably owe many of my understandings of physics and mechanical engineering to watching that show as a kid. Maybe Larry, Moe, and Curly were better at making people smarter than they got credit for!

  2. Hi Andrew,

    I also like the Three Stooges…and the Flintstones too. But, these shows were clearly fictitious and didn’t intend to “share” their views or morph the existing societal norms to their view of what should be popular or acceptable.

    Maybe I read too much into the incessant videos or half-nude selfies that make up much of social media today. I hope our younger generation do not believe this is the best we/they can be because of all the supposed glamor, fame and fortune that does come to many of the Kardashian types.

    Once we get too mired down with what’s on Twitter or Snapchat, will there still be time for reading, riting and ‘rithametic? I hope so.

    Thanks much for your comment, I always appreciate your wisdom and take on the articles presented here on CT.

  3. I can attribute almost 50% of my learning in the past 3-4 years to twitter. That is why I stay and connect on twitter..

  4. Hi Mukesh,

    I’m glad you apparently take advantage of the great learning opportunities on Social media as I mentioned above. Good for you.

    Let others worry about the latest fad or gossip. I bet the don’t learn much that is considered worthwhile anyway.


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