Many of my readers know I am fairly active on Twitter and connect with a wide variety of people. If you have ever used it, you know that there is a small bio section to describe whatever to potential followers and there are suggestions in a couple different areas that look at who you’re following and show you more like them.
A few days ago, I had a couple very interesting experiences after looking through some of these suggestions and following many of them.
- I was given an awesome shout-out shortly after by a single parenting site I followed (who made it very clear that I was married, by the way)
- I was slapped with two negative comments tweeted at me almost immediately after the person did the shout out
It made me nervous. I didn’t look at the website prior to following them and after catching immediate flak; I thought I had just landed in the middle of some sort of underground fight club craziness!
I politically responded to the lashings, apologizing to one for ‘intruding’ and explaining to the other that I didn’t pay too close attention to who it was. I came very close to un-following the account—then, I thought about what I was doing.
It kind of ticked me off
You’ve undoubtedly heard the old proverb, “It takes a village to raise a child” right? Well, we as a culture (I can only speak about Americans) strayed away from this ‘tribal’ mentality decades ago. We became untrusting of others after Adam Walsh disappeared in broad daylight (and a few other horrific stories.) We locked our kids away, never to be let out of sight again. Don’t get me wrong, I am all about safety and taking precaution, but did you notice that we also lost all of our good outside influencers while trying to stay away from the bad ones?
Never before have people come closer to one another than we are right now. Outlets like Twitter and Facebook have linked everyone together, literally with a Bacon factor! We are once again becoming ‘Tribal’. Examples are everywhere. Look at the social media world eagerly adopting Triberr. Groups like Third Tribe and others have been bringing business leaders together to learn, brainstorm, and excel. A week ago, I saw a newly graduated teen wearing a shirt that read ‘Tribe of 2011’.
I raise these points, not as a fan of social media, but as a parent. All of us parents have the opportunity to share, offer advice, and assist each other—regardless of marital status, location, or age group. We can begin to truly bring all ideas back to the table let our children be raised by the village once more.
I implore you, stop thinking so much about yourselves and your metrics when you engage in SOCIAL media and consider that the people you don’t follow or connect with may have that one piece of advice that could help your business, you, or your kids. They might even be desperately looking for help themselves.
And for the love of peet, don’t judge people when you see them reach out to connect with someone—you may not have considered all of the reasons why they are doing it.
Weigh in! Have you ever made the mistake of judging too quickly and regretted not connecting with someone earlier?
Tribe/family picture retrieved from https://winhttps.nsula.edu/regionalfolklife/apalachee/kisatchiehills.html