Out Of Perspective

In the world of jewelry, we have a saying: no one ever died from lack of jewelry. Someone told me this during my first week of work and it has served as a guiding light ever since. In light of several recent posts, it feels as if it is something that many of us in the world of commercial Social Media could use to hear right now. While the impetus for writing this post is all of the reactions1 surrounding both Chris Brogan’s decision to hold a Google+ webinar and Gini Dietrich’s subsequent post preaching caution about selling a product around such a new service, this is more of a general observation regarding the space at large.

Now, before you jump in with examples like Egypt, Iran and some of the exceptional non-profit work we see on the web, I know that Social Media can and has saved lives. That is not what I’m talking about. I’m talking about you and me, the people who are using Social Media to make a living through traditional capitalist2 means.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying our work isn’t important. I’m not saying we shouldn’t take it seriously. Career and personal accomplishments mean a lot in this world. But for most of the people I see railing out lately3 (myself included), a healthy dose of reality is warranted. It’s ok to disagree. It’s ok to take a somewhat controversial stance. It’s ok to have a hard debate, but we have to stop letting ourselves get carried away.

We’ve lost perspective and that’s okay. It’s pretty much inevitable when you really care about something. We just need to take a step back, a deep breath to really remember who we are what it is we’re doing here. And for the most part, that’s simply making a living and not saving any lives.

When it comes to what we do, no one has ever died from Social Media. Take a minute to remember that from time to time. It won’t save your life, but it just might save you from saying a lot of stupid, blown-out-of-proportion nonsense on the Internet and encourage you to spend a little more of that energy accomplishing things that really matter.

  1. Or better yet, overreactions.  

  2. Not evil, just capitalist in the literal sense of the word.  

  3. Especially in the comments.  

15 Responses to Out Of Perspective

  1. Well said Michael. Things have been a little nuts lately. I think as long as we keep perspective, and smile the whole way, then it’s all good. But if we truly get carried away, and start losing relationships and burning bridges because of it, then I don’t know if we’re on the right track.

    Keep speaking the good word brother.


  2. One important thing to note here is that people will have opinions. And you really don’t have to respond to them. The most important takeaway, though, is that people take themselves and their jobs far too seriously. So, you’re right Michael; it’s only social media. I suggest everyone to get over themselves. 

    Who would you wager I agree with? (Of those who commented). I suppose this is the exact opposite of what you wanted, but I do enjoy playing guessing games. Especially those games that allow one person to know another better than they had. You could always send a DM with your guess. ; )

    • It’s great and essential to have opinions. You don’t have to respond to them, but the best conversations happen when two people with utterly disparate thoughts on a subject talk things through. Will have to think of which way you lean on this one… Although, my point is it kind of doesnt matter what you think, but more the way you keep perspective on how unimportant some of these opinions are :)

      • More important than the opinion itself is the reasoning behind it. The issue is always unimportant.

        This is why I asked for a guess, actually. If you’re able to correctly guess where I lean on a particular issue, then you have some idea on how I reason. Knowing that puts you in a position to have better and more thorough conversations with me.

        You also come to know far more about a person whose reasoning you understand. Each individual has a slightly different way of reasoning–not unlike a fingerprint–and it influences every aspect of their life.

        • Interesting, I tend to go the other way. The people I like best are the ones where I never fully know where they are going to fall. There is always sound reasoning, but they are still able to surprise me.

          That said I completely agree on the reasoning. Baseless opinions can be very depressing to watch.

          • Oh, it will always be uncertain and surprises can certainly happen. But you’re surprised because you have a concept of their reasoning and you’ve built an expectation from that. And surprises are infrequent. They happen just enough to keep you on your toes.

            And now I’ll get back to cleaning.

  3. LOL are we still talking about this? It’s like a month ago in internet time. :) 

    But seriously though, yeah, I’m going to continue to be supportive of friends. But my personal opinion was stated when the issue was fresh. I made my decision known and walked away. Not that I don’t think it’s important, but I gotta prioritize if I’m going make this schedule of mine work. You’re right though, we’re not curing cancer here. At least not yet.

    • I know, but I don’t really think it is just the one thing, more a tone I keep seeing. It’s almost like politics, everyone spends more time simply disagreeing than actually discussing a point… Originally I wasn’t even going to mention Gini or Chris, but my wife (who is my non-SoMe reader) really felt it needed context.

      That said, even if social media does help find the cure for cancer, it isn’t likely the work that most of us are doing that’s going to help find it!

  4. First of all, congrats on your new baby girl! Second, you are so dang right on this one! It’s not rocket science, nor, as @Tinu:disqus said, or we curing cancer here.  Let’s move on and have some fun.  Enjoy that baby!!!

  5. It’s been a rough week and, between this and something my mom said, I’ve been able to keep it all in perspective. You’re a good friend. Kiss that little Emily face for me!

    • I can imagine, it’s never fun when crap compounds… I’ll just occasionally email you adorable baby pictures, they are like lithium :) Kiss is officially planted!

  6. I’m late to this party. A very important post Michael, no one ever died from not being on Social media. It’s a stupid tool. It really doesn’t matter. Ah! I miss the days of the fax and telegram experts.

    • I wouldn’t quite go that far :) I don’t think it is a stupid tool that doesn’t matter. I just think it doesn’t matter nearly as much as we would like it to.

      As for the fax and telegram experts, you can’t help but wonder what they are doing these days…

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