Have you ever walked into a room full of people and shouted out “I’m holding a party next Wednesday at 8pm please come” and then walked out again ? No I thought not ! It’s just plain weird isn’t it ? So why do people insist in social media spaces on consistently shouting out messages at the people that follow them ? With no preamble or engagement I see many tweets that are “look at this” “do that” “go here” “read this about us” …. I hate to generalise but it is usually organisations who are running their latest campaign or other and seem far removed from just simply being human.
However I have noticed a change in a few accounts recently … @theRCN and @6CsLive have, of late, found their human side. It’s been wonderful and warming to see tweets from them that reach out and actually converse with people. Whilst I understand that sometimes within social media we all have to broadcast a bit … Take this blog for example, you would never have got here if I had not tweeted “here’s my latest blog, come and take a look” however it’s sooooo important to add a bit of small talk in there too.
One of the best pieces of advice re social media I have ever come across is from The NMC “If there is any doubt about whether a particular activity online is acceptable, it can be useful to think through a real-world analogy” (of course we are days away from the release of an update of this, so this advice may disappear) I think that this not only applies to the nursing code of conduct but also to how we generally conduct ourselves within this space. Would we walk into a room full of people and start shouting?
The only set of circumstances I can think of where this would be seen as normal were if you were a town crier. Oh yay, oh yay !
If it’s not “socially acceptable” to broadcast in real life it’s not in our virtual and social spaces either.
So what’s the answer ? Take a leaf out of @6CsLive and @theRCN book and bring on the smalltalk – say hello to people, get to know them, build relationships, share a joke, share a tear … Be human !