The Big Social Media Lie: If You Disagree, You “Don’t Get It”


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Came across a post on socialmediatoday (which has some thought provoking material) plus comments. The general drift was expressing frustration that businesses “don’t get” that social media is social, and “misunderstand”. I don’t know if that’s true or not, but I do know that labelling people who disagree with you is a) offensive and arrogant and b) a poor way to teach them alternative ways of thinking. So, here’s the response I wrote:

Sadly, Katie, I find the arrogance of social media pundits overwhelming and depressing on several levels. First by labelling others as not getting it, or in your case, “misunderstanding”, you insult those of us who have different opinions about social media, albeit unintentionally. Many of us “get it”, and many of us “understand” just fine, thank you, BUT we disagree with you.

Why is it that “social media” participants are so intolerant of other opinions?

The second reason I find this depressing is that  when you label others, you marginalize YOURSELF as a force for change and teaching, and you create exactly that which you criticize.

If you want a reason why some people try to use social media in ways that you dislike (as do I), it’s partly because of people — social media pundits, media starts and marketers, who have bombarded them with “you have to do this to survive”, which is just nonsense.Faced with this ongoing pressure, they jump in with what makes sense to them, and you don’t much like it.

I’ve found social media commentators are by far the worst listeners and the least interested in WHY people aren’t doing what they want them to. Again, I implore people–stop labelling people as not getting it or misunderstanding, and go out and talk to those people and truly listen because YOU want to understand.

Until then you are just fanatics contributing to the misuse of social media whatever that means.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Robert Bacal
Robert began his career as an educator and trainer at the age of twenty (which is over 30 years ago!), as a teaching assistant at Concordia University. Since then he as trained teachers for the college and high school level, taught at several universities and trained thousands of employees and managers in customer service, conflict management and performance appraisal and performance management skills.


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