Social Butterflies/Social Media

    c.268w social butterfliesLast year I wrote about Collage People, those who are always on the go, double and triple booking themselves to avoid downtime or quiet time and Matted-Print People, those who pace their experiences. Collage People understand intellectually they can’t have it all (but still do their best to prove themselves and — everyone else — wrong). Matted-Print People quietly step aside as Collage People race by. The latter function well in the world of flesh and blood, not cyberspace.

    Cyberspace is great for Social Butterflies. Cyber-Social Butterflies are quick with the emo icons, like buttons, forwarding tweets and posts, and sharing photos and videos. Since Social Butterflies feel a small jolt of energy each time they share a part of themselves — and cyberspace encompasses much of the world — their surges grow exponentially.

    Cyberspace doesn’t lend itself well to non-Social Butterflies. Those classified as wallflowers ~ the extremely shy and/or socially inept ~ are probably not drawn to social media. But what of those who are neither? Is there a place in social media for those who at social gatherings hoover at the perimeter of the event?

    How do you transfer being the one who quietly helps the hostess replenish the guests’ drinks, brings food to the table, takes guests’ coats, smiles appreciatively as others’ tell their stories, listens enthusiastically to the conversations around, and manages to enjoy the event by “being” there while not being “on” into the realm of social media?

    c.269w matted at partiesHow does the one who, after standing to the side for a while, getting a “feel” for the party/event and those who are there, winds up striking a conversation with one or two persons and thus happily and contentedly spends an evening (or a significant amount of time) convert that to social-media-ism? Non-Social-Butterfly conversations tend to go beyond the “small talk” and simple “chit chat” which fit well in social media.

    As a Matted-Print Person, an evening in which I maneuvered myself into getting one-on-one (or one-on-two) time while in the midst of a crowd can be quite nice. Matted-Print People don’t subscribe to the more-is-better/working-the-room mind set. Instead they prefer the less-is-more/slower-allows-time-to-mull mind set.

    The Matted-Print Person’s challenge is how to flourish in cyberspace. The internet has created an incredible shift in both interpersonal relations and marketing. When it comes to marketing, word of mouth is best. Quantity is the name of the game, not quality. Of import is the “platform” you create, SEO rankings, subscriber and follower rankings, and a bunch of other terms and steps (pertaining to various social media outlets) which I don’t know.

    c.270w matted & social mediaIn giving Twitter the college effort, I wound up exhausting myself from all that up-ness. (That and attempting to have “serious” or “meaningful” conversations in 140 character snatches with lots of people.) As anyone familiar with Twitter knows, that doesn’t work. (Still trying to find a way to make it work since it turns out a Matted-Print Person can’t comport themselves with social media as they do in the flesh and blood world.)

    The good news is you’re more than half-way to a solution once you can articulate the challenge. (So it is said.) Here’s the challenge:

    “How does a Matted-Print Person use social media to get where they want to go?”

    The bad news? I don’t have the answer. The good news is social media is a fantastic way to put questions “out there” and tap into the wisdom and knowledge of others. Yours truly would appreciate any and all thoughts, comments, and suggestions you have for solutions to the challenge.

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    Sheila Bergquist - May 8, 2014 - 12:11 am

    I swear we are twins! I am exactly the same way and have the same questions about social media! I keep trying to use it and feel so lost as to how, since I’m a Matted-Print Person too. Love the way you put that. I frankly wish Facebook, Twitter, etc…had never been invented. It has been a real stressful thing for me. Hope we get some good answers from others who have succeeded. Love your posts Tana! I can always relate and they also make me chuckle!

    Tana Bevan - May 12, 2014 - 10:18 am

    Sheila~Then again, sometimes we’re meant to figure things out for ourselves. In that case it’s best to keep our minds open to the possibilities & see what can be figured out. Yours truly intends to begin with the premise that if it’s possible to have social media, then it’s possible for Matted-Print Persons to partake.

    Sheila Bergquist - May 12, 2014 - 8:48 pm

    True! Good for you! I think sometimes we think we have to do it a certain way and it is ok to do it our way…if that makes any sense at all! Good luck!

    Tana Bevan - May 13, 2014 - 1:13 am

    Appreciate the good wishes. Thank you Sheila.

    catherine gacad - May 17, 2014 - 10:07 pm

    i wanted to comment on your previous post about doing what we’re supposed to do in life, but i couldn’t find the comment fields. it reminded me of steve jobs’s graduation speech wherein he says that we need to just keep searching. it may not make sense at first, but in retrospect we’ll be able to connect the dots.

    Tana Bevan - May 18, 2014 - 6:31 pm

    Catherine, I hope you’re right. At the moment I see lots of dots, though not much of a pattern. Thank you for your insight. Always a delight to hear from you.