CHICOPEE, Mass. (Mass Appeal) – So much of our lives, for better or worse, are now spent online. What kind of future do you want to live in? David Ryan Polgar, Digital Family Expert at ASKfm joins us to share why it is in our best interest to work towards humanizing the social media environment.
Humanizing Social Media
By David Ryan Polgar
Social media is only as good as we are. Given that, how do we humanize social media in order to improve the overall experience for us as users? So much of our lives, for better or worse, are now spent online. It is in our best interest to work towards humanizing the social media environment.
To humanize is to make kinder, gentler, and with greater human characteristics. As many of us have experienced firsthand, social media sometimes devolves into trolling, trite statements, shaming, and other forms of misuse. As a user, we play an important role in influencing the overall environment. Here are three ways to humanize social media.
- Treat others as People, not Personas
Behind every avatar is a genuine human being, filled with all the sensitivities and feelings that that entails. Just because the person receiving your message is behind another screen far away doesn’t mean that the words and images can’t have a dramatic impact on their overall wellbeing. Humanizing social media is about being more empathic towards others online.
- Put the Social back in Social Media
The focus needs to move away from metrics and brand management. While it is crucial that we are cognizant of our digital footprints, we should also find ways to have fun on social media. For many of us, social media has gone from entertainment to an exhausting task of general upkeep. The prominence of metrics, such as likes, can really get in the way of the fun we have online. If every post becomes either a competition of opportunity for validation, we have moved away from the social aspects of social media.
- Talk Human to Me
The beauty of social media is that it connects us to people across the world that we aren’t with physically. But what do we do with those connections once we have them? Oftentimes our posts online resemble the trite utterances found in a fortune cookie. To humanize social media is to add greater depth to our online connections.David Ryan Polgar is the Digital Family Expert at ASKfm, and the co-founder of the Digital Citizenship Summit.