When I was in elementary school my father took me to the most amazing display of creativity that had I ever seen. I was completely mesmerized by the lights, the acting and the way stories were made to come alive. As a young boy, what intrigued me the most was watching what I thought was impossible become possible with a few words or gestures. What I had experienced was my first magic show.
That single event was so impacting that for twenty years I spent money, read books and articles by some of the greatest performers of all time. It motivated me to travel to obscure locations to meet magicians from this underground society to watch and learn as well as to be challenged all over again.
However, as I got older I noticed that instead of becoming a magician, even though I could do a simple routine, I was becoming a collector â€“ A collector of tricks, secrets, books and videos. I was more addicted to finding the â€œnew thingâ€ instead of honing my craft and executing a few simple tricks with the performance of a master. I was afraid I would miss out and by missing out it would make me less of a performer. The end of the story is that while I was determined to find the new, I didnâ€™t become a performer at all.
The Social Media Trap
I know you may be asking, â€œwhat does this have to do with social media,â€ but it has everything to do with it. Like many of you Iâ€™m connected everywhere, Twitter, Facebook, Friendfeed,
and the list goes on. I also subscribe and read over four hundred RSS
feeds and what I continue to hear is this question,
â€œWhatâ€™s the next big thing?”
Whoâ€™s going to unveil the next Twitter or Facebook? What new tool is going to take the web by storm that everyone is going to have to have? Whatâ€™s going to explode on to the mobile scene?
Iâ€™m sure youâ€™ve heard all of these and more. The real question is not what tool could be next, but can you execute with what you currently have?
The magicians that I had admired were not those that carried around shiny boxes and had to be twenty feet away from you to perform the magical illusion, but it was the individual who can master a simple trick with a coin or a dollar bill, or even something that he borrowed from someone else.
The challenge is how can I maximize not whatâ€™s coming, but how can I maximize what I already have.
Here are a few ways Iâ€™m combating the social media trap.
7 Ways to Avoid the Social Media Trap
1. Engage in conversations within the communities you are currently a part of.
2. Revisit social networks that you already have a profile in and see if the community has evolved or grown since you last visited.
3. Donâ€™t run after the â€œnext thing.â€ If itâ€™s big youâ€™ll find out about it, believe me.
4. Think execution before activation.
5. Simplify and go back to the basics of social media: people first, tools second.
6. See if you can unplug and connect with others face-to-face.
7. Add to your social media toolbox not what everyone has, but only what you will use.
If you find yourself already victim to the trap, pause and go back to what the heart of social media is all about â€“ Connecting with people, one person at a time.
Note: While I was writing this post, Gary Vaynerchuk from winelibrarytv.com published a video that addresses the same topic. Check it out!
Have you found yourself prey to this trap? What methods are you using to get out? What have you learn in the process?
Leave a comment, I want to hear your story.