Social Media is High School
I don’t enjoy saying this, especially because I mostly disliked high school and love social media – but it dawned on me that social media is very much like high school… all over again.
Bear with me, and tell me if you disagree.
1. Enter the popular crowd.
You have the in-crowd that gives off the air that they’re not trying very hard, when in reality they’re trying the hardest. They’re worried about every little word, every little post, every photo filter, and everyone they’re connected to. They’re the ones that bask in the number of likes and shares on their posts. Their mood can be swayed based upon the comments on their articles. On the other hand, everyone wants to be their friend, everyone wants to engage with them, they want to be a part of their life. They’re going places and seeing things some of us can only dream of. So we live and “like” vicariously through them.
2. Then you have the hipsters.
They always know what’s cool before it was cool. They’re the early adopters that roll their eyes at your posts when you finally get excited about the app they knew about months ago. Your mainstream content? They are SO over it. They’re checking-in to places you’ve never heard of and Instagramming artistic angles of everyday objects. Oh, you’re obsessed with Pinterest? How pinteresting. They’ve been pinning things when it was still in beta.
3. The wannabe.
They want so badly to be part of the in-crowd, so they’re constantly over-compensating. They claim to know “everything” about social media. They’re positioning themselves as social media gurus and don’t even have an effective facebook business page. They’re hosting events on the topic of social because they want to be known as a local social media celebrity. Pete Cashmore’s photo is beside their bed.
4. The jocks.
They think “I’m the man.” (See wannabe)
5. The class clown.
Their feed is full of memes, someecards, one-liners and faceinhole.com’s. You can’t quite pinpoint if you’re annoyed, or if you’re happy that someone you’re following is actually taking the time to curate content that’s somewhat humorous. As an added bonus, you convince yourself you’re becoming a connoisseur of internet hilarity.
6. The cheerleaders.
They’re always so encouraging, commenting on your posts with things like “way to go!” and “awesomesauce!” and “totes amaze!”. Secretly you love them because you’re always game for an ego boost, but at some point you question the sincerity. But only for a second, because your ego just went up 3 points.
7. The geeks.
You’re following them on social media and only comprehend 6% of anything they post. They’re talking about SEO and SEM and WTF. So when that golden post publishes that you do understand comes along, you scramble to comment and share. You feel like a champ when you can effectively join in the dialogue. Where’s your cheerleader when you need her?!?
8. The gossip.
iPhone10 coming out? They’ve got the scoop. Google glasses being tested? They’ve created a video walk thru. Human teleportation now possible? They’ve proved it by showing up in your living room. They can be quite the buzz kill when half of what they predict never comes to fruition, but you somehow still stay engaged because you can’t not know what the latest and greatest is.
9. The band geek.
The life force behind Myspace and shameless self-promoters. Music is life. You know every song they’ve listened to on Spotify, you know every concert they’ve attended and you certainly know if they’ve booked a gig. Because you’ll see 325 posts reminding everyone to attend. And another 674 pictures to recap the event.
10. The student council.
Need an endorsement on Linkedin? Or perhaps, a profile recommendation? Of course you don’t. But they’ve already done it! You’re actually a bit perplexed when you see an endorsement for something you didn’t even know you were good at. Who knew! They are the brand advocates to the max, the discussion starters, the Quora queens.
In my opinion, social media is like a great big cafeteria. People grab what they want (content) and go to the table (platform) where they feel like they belong, where they have the most influence. Which table are you? Are you the social butterfly making your rounds to the different tables?
Or maybe the real question is – is the table you’re sitting at the one your customers would want to sit?
image credit: Barbra Greenburg
Read more: Social Media Gurus, Real Work and Diversity