Monday, November 10, 2014

Social Media Monday—My Grandmother Would Approve of Social Media

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

I believe social media is a return to a
simpler age.
Social media is a return to a simpler age. And I'm convinced that my grandmother would approve of social media. More than that, I think she'd have enjoyed it.

I can see the skepticism on your faces from here, but bear with me. I think you’ll see the connection.

First, I’d like to invite you to remind yourselves of the standards I, and a lot of you, were taught growing up. We were raised by certain ideas about how to treat others. My mother and grandmother had a name for it—polite society. 

Here are some of the basics, in case you’ve forgotten: 
  • If someone says something nice about you, thank them.
  • When someone does something nice for you, do something nice for them.
  • Always put others before yourself.
  • If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.

It was a Do unto others as you would have them do unto you world.

Operating from a common basis makes navigation easier.
These rules guided my behavior in almost all circumstances. And they made the world I lived in pretty easy to navigate. We all operated from a common basis, and everyone knew what was expected from everyone else.

These same basic rules are once again enjoying a resurgence—on the Internet. Stay with me and consider our interaction on social media, specifically Facebook and Twitter.
  • If someone mentions you (which is a nice thing in this new, platform-building paradigm) you thank them.
  • When others do something nice for you online, like telling people you have a great blog post, you tell your friends about their blogs.
  • To keep from becoming a self-centered sounding boor, promote others online more than yourself. I know it’s counterintuitive, but it works every time. Those who promote others are always more popular and have more friends than those who are self-serving and self-promoting.
  • And most important of all, when almost everything ever said online can still be found somewhere online—NEVER share an update that puts someone else down. 

It’s once again a golden-rule governed world.

It's once again a golden-rule governed rule.
When I realized the relationship between how I was raised and this new frontier, I also saw that I have a lot of experience I can share with the younger, sometimes more digitally-familiar generation. And this gave me the confidence to embrace this new culture. Because let’s face it, there truly is nothing new under the sun.

So here's my challenge to you. We tend to focus on the difficulties of connecting to others through this new digital paradigm. Instead, what similarities have you found between connecting digitally and connecting physically with other people.
Don't forget to join the conversation!




  1. What a positive way to look at social media :)

    1. Jennifer, I think a lot of people are so intimidated by the thought of a NEW paradigm they forget to look at the similarities to what they already know. They also immediately assume they're not good at it and don't look for ways to apply their strengths. Thanks so much for stopping by, Blessings E

  2. Yes, the Golden Rule should apply, but in both our grandmothers' day and today it often doesn't. Not sure your grandmother would approve of how social media often works out.
    Which is why we, like she, should keep trying. Thanks.

    1. Ron, excellent point! Thanks so much for sharing your insight, Blessings, E