Friday 11 February 2011

Social media is not the message

Getting a context of social media

It is beyond dispute that social media had a great role to play in the revolutions that have swept Tunisian and Egypt within the last few weeks.

However, it would be disingenuous for anyone to suggest that posting a tweet, a blog or starting a group on Facebook is the catalyst for change and the impetus for the gathering of people to a cause.

A microphone is not a message

Analogically, social media is just like another medium; a microphone; putting a microphone in a hands of mute will achieve no purpose, just as putting it to the mouth of a rambler would achieve just as much to be noticed to prepare the listeners to ignore the person.

A microphone to a speaker is only of value if the speaker has a message at first, then a message that resonates, a message that inspires, a message that encourages and a message that galvanises to a cause and purpose.

It takes a message to benefit from social media

In the same vein, that is the lesson we should learn of what social media means to rallying people to a cause; social media in and of itself does nothing of the sort that is attributed to it – it codifies, amplifies and relays what has been given to it.

In other words, it requires people who have their ideas sorted out and their message clearly stated and most of all, it must be a message whose time has come – that way, it will ride the moment to create the situation we hope for and maybe result in the unexpected.

Social media cannot bestow you with talent

So, if you are naturally not a communicator do not be deluded into thinking social media will suddenly make you one just as holding a microphone does not make you a talented singer just because your croaky voice can be amplified to the hearing of others who might heckle you off stage rotten eggs and tomatoes.

With that analogy, I hope we can put social media in context and perspective – it is about the message, the medium is just a facilitator, it cannot become the message, that would be utterly absurd.

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