I posted this question on Twitter and Facebook and received some fun and thoughtful replies.

Here are a few of the comments.

Lorri Agullana Markum hit the nail on the head. “To interact with others in conversation or personal post commentary vs. just trolling and never actually interacting with anyone besides random meme or other reposts.”

Nat Finn added some humor, “Good question. When I push the buttons on here, no beer comes out, so I’m confused.” As did Sam Luppino with, “I get security from being on it… Social security!”

Robby Gehlhausen Slaughter answered my question with a question. Of course he did. “Do something besides scroll past?”

Mark Light took a more satirical tone? “Isn’t social media a foreign term meaning “hidden sales pitch”?’

Chuck Gose – Shared this comment and video “Buried in this video is some great stuff from @unmarketing on being social.” What you know about Content Marketing may be wrong. It’s well worth the 11 minutes to watch.

And Deborah Minnick Smallwood Shared thoughtful insights, “That would require a different perspective on the definition of “social” from how we’ve used it in the past. It means to interact, talk with, enjoy activities with other people. The studies show that we are less and less “social” as a society now because of the tendency to hide behind the wall of social media, feeling smug with our “friends” via keyboard. It’s sad really. How much more value is there in looking into someone’s eyes to see all the emotions that go into a conversation and to hear the voice inflections, to touch hands, to read the unspoken feelings and thoughts by their expressions, to exchange hugs with a friend – something we all need during hard days?! To be “social” on social media? Hmmmm. It’s a lot of typing, a lot of sitting, picture taking, draining on the eyesight, requires a tough skin to absorb the possible negative comments, a constant interruption of real-life events to keep up, post thoughts, pictures, so on. It has its good and bad. And though it’s not possible, I’d love to go back to the days without all of that. A little “On Walden Pond” would be refreshing. And yet, I find myself often caught up in all that too. For business, it can be a great tool. But I think that on a personal level, we would be better off spending that time really doing the things that we are passionate about, instead of just observing and clamoring for kudos from people that, for the most part, will never really be a part of our lives. I wonder what the ratio is for people that we influence for good to how much time we waste? Like anything else, social media is useful….in certain aspects, but can also suck the life out of us.”

How would you answer the question?

After reflecting on the comments from friends I asked myself what does it mean to be social on social media. I came to the conclusion it isn’t much different than being social face-to-face. It’s more difficult because you don’t hear voice inflection, see facial expressions, or observe body language, but it’s not very different. Being social on media networks, or in person, means listening, sharing, and participating in conversations. It means being courteous and respectful. It means playing fair and not bullying others. It means helping more than promoting.

Are Social on Social Media?

I asked myself, am I social on social media? My answer was—sometimes. I have two takeaways from this. First, I realized I’d become too robotic on social networks. The next day I jumped into more conversations on social media. And secondly, I needed to meet with people face-to-face more often. I’ve committed to a minimum of one F2F or networking opportunity per week for the next three months. Hope to see you soon.  So, what do you think being social on social media means?