Don’t Be A Social Media Lemming

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snapchatA few months ago, the parents in my community were all freaked out about Snapchat.

If you don’t know anything about it, Snapchat is an app where you can take a picture on your phone and send it to a friend. The picture shows up on your friend’s phone for about 10 seconds and then it disappears. (Sorta. Nothing ever disappears.)

Kids are using it to sext one another. Shocking, I know.

All of the mothers and fathers in my area knew about Snapchat before me. I asked myself, “How am I so behind the times? How do these lame people with kids know about things before I do?”

Then I realized it’s the kids. Although I was blogging in 2004 and poking around Twitter and Facebook in late 2006 (and sooner on LinkedIn), it doesn’t matter. These moms and dads are savvy. And even though I worked in marketing as a B2B social media strategist, I will always play catch up because I don’t have kids.

I am okay with it. The chase for the newest ‘cool tool’ makes you into a tool yourself. And for what it’s worth, when I finally got on Snapchat, I took some pictures of Scrubby and sent them to my husband.

(This confirms that Snapchat is totally over, by the way.)

And now I’m taking Scrubby and Emma photos on Vine. Hmm.

Listen, I think it is okay to be intellectually curious. You need to know what your kids are doing on social media. If you are looking for a job, you want to know how to use Twitter for your job search. And if you work in marketing, you should know how brand and message are interwoven into new communication channels.

But chasing the latest app and widget — with the hope that you’ll be more informed or more relevant — is degrading and demoralizing. And it certainly doesn’t feel very social.

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