That’s how I feel about the world of social media.
There are plenty of douchebags pundits out there who want to sell you on the social economy. You are encouraged to have a ‘career-related social media strategy’ and connect with professional associates on LinkedIn, follow people on Twitter, answer questions on Quora, read blogs, look at pictures on Flickr, and ‘friend’ your colleagues on Facebook — with appropriate privacy settings — in order to find, keep, and cultivate a career in the 21st century.
And I am here to tell you that you don’t have to do shit on social media — not a single thing — and your career will probably be fine. Just go to career websites. Maybe some job boards.
But do network the hell out of the people you know in real life. If you don’t know people, use social media to expand your circle.
There you go.
The world applauds intellectually curious people who are open to new ideas and experiences. The economy rewards individuals who are innovative, willing to take on calculated risks, and know a good idea when they see it. The world wants you to learn about Oovoo and Skype, but the universe doesn’t reward anyone who follows Ashton Kutcher on Twitter.
And while I am a very big fan of spying on your vacation photos, you will not find or keep a job through Facebook because you are competing against more than 500 million active users — 50% of whom log on to their accounts in any given day. And most companies don’t have a thoughtful social recruiting strategy that incorporate Facebook, anyway. So don’t waste your time.
The sites that form the social web are meant to foster engagement and communication between human beings — but the social web is being bastardized by a group of wannabe celebrities & hacks who keep telling you that you must live & breathe social media in order to create and maintain a successful career. And it bugs me because it’s not true.
So I say, yes, you should open a twitter account. It won’t kill you. Yes, you should probably connect with people on LinkedIn. There is no alternative professional network, right now. And yes, it’s probably easier to ping your colleagues via IM than to leave a series of voicemails. Go ahead and try instant messaging. You won’t die from the experience.
But you will not find a job — or get a promotion — by having a Facebook profile, retweeting articles from Mashable, or reading a blog.
Not my blog. Not any blog.
You will find a job — or get a promotion — by being productive, being educated, and being completely awesome in your current role. And you can’t do all of those things while sitting on Facebook at 2AM or reading the blog of some third-rate social media snake oil salesman who wants to sell you a miracle potion that just won’t work.
Social media will not make your job any better. It won’t make your job search any easier. It might be a tool, but you are the bigger tool if you see a website as a solution to your problems.
Now get off my blog and get me my wrench.