Social media has been growing exponentially and assisting in getting people with similar interests and pursuits to connect. This is an opportunity to learn more about a field, socialize and or share ideas. Many question the impact that social media may have on the direction of future leadership since it does not allow much room for criticism or the sharing of serious issues affecting our society.
By definition, a social network is an interconnected system of relationships with other people. What is often overlooked is the relationship of those providing the networks such as the investors with that of the public at large that is being served. Do social media moguls always have the best interest in mind when serving the general public? Could social media become a tool for promoting vested interests social agendas? Social media is a conversation not just among the users but also with the stakeholders that are providing the platforms. For example, not all the providers of platforms for social networking such as Twitter, Facebook, Google +, LinkedIn, and others have values that are aligned with that of the users. This may be one of the reasons that some have not done very well financially despite several attempts and to this day may lag behind in delivering usability with profitability in what they could really have achieved.
Most social networks use web script that suggest to readers to follow them with “Follow Me” and when casually done not a problem. Is following others really the best term to use? Are we becoming a nation of followers and not leaders? In social media etiquette we are encouraged to follow; however we are also encouraged to never hint at expressing more relevant concerns that are affecting our fields of work and society. Many Universities and career groups when introducing social media ask users to never even hint or comment much on societal concerns. This is not realistic for we all grow through criticism along with two -way feedbacks and not just via a one -way lets always-be pleasant to then just follow mode of communicating.
There is no doubt that social media has helped society; however one needs to ask if at the same time it may be jeopardizing our future ability to lead. Leaders in many fields need to be able to be honest and express their concerns. We also must be able to discuss serious issues that may be affecting us, to include our clients or communities. Perhaps one day some of the Emperors may truly not be wearing any clothes and we need those individuals out there not afraid to voice concerns and let the rest of us know.
After all, social media is not just about profits or casually spending free time to chat. People spend time there also because they truly care about their friends, work and families. Their input should also count in the shaping of our future society and of their environments. Business people and other professionals have demographics to serve and stakeholders well being and interests to answer for. We wish for our clients’ privacy to be respected and their present and future well being to be honored. Our values, ethics and respect for our clients would preferably also be in alignment with those of the networks that are being offered for us to use. Corporate social responsibility is not just a plaque on the wall.
Are we over time becoming a society of just followers? Of Yes men and women? It would be great for the platform web design emblem to suggest, Lead with me instead of just Follow. And yes, this is some criticism on social networking while pointing out some of the positive benefits. Please, Lead with me in growing Colorado business and do question some of the networks true intentions. Consensus and following is not the same as critical thinking which society needs in order to survive over time.
Critical thinking is to question for example if your values align with that of some of the providers of networks that we have to use as tools on a daily basis. For example, Google is heavily vested in Artificial Intelligence (trans-humanist) projects in which Google Glass is one but one of the many steps into their self-directed worldview and a future transformation of our society, yet we are expected to jump into using Google + and never even question or give our input into such implementations. We are even expected to contribute to that system when using their ubiquitous tools. There are also other platforms allowing NSA surveillance that is being deployed on some users. In this article by Fast Company.com Facebook is even asking to read all of your private text messages on Android often getting users by surprise in having to click or exit. In addition by frustration over early years, many decided to delay creating business pages on Facebook when its “inventor” Zuckerburg chose another country as his residence in order to avoid contributing to the US economy. It was the US that contributed greatly to his prosperity and success.
It is important for mutual respect to exist between platforms and those that use it. Respectful two- way communication must take place between stakeholders. No smart businessperson will engage quickly with a company that does not contribute or adds its share in value to others and common desire for prosperity. Social media is great but it most be used responsibly, wisely and with critical thinking. After all we are all leaders in our particular fields and not just followers. Small and medium size businesses must be part of the societal conversation. We cannot just become spectators of events unfolding or to changes implemented top down without the public’s input. The future of society also needs our direction and leadership. Life is not just about profits and corporate worldviews unleashed on to others. Social networking besides communication is about human relationships and the common good. We hope for them to honor their mission statement that states, “ Do no Evil.” Lead with us in growing present and future leaders. Lead with Me.