Social Platforms

It’s not News Unless it’s on Social Media

Social Media Facebook As a Millennial, I am surrounded by Millennial friends. We live to share everything on social media. And I mean everything. Not just what we ate for lunch or which TMZ article made us laugh, but personal news and information about our lives. Jenny got married. Grandpa passed away. Look at my cousin’s ultrasound. Here I am getting 30 stitches on my left foot – with pictures.

This mentality is not only due to the way we grew up (with technology at the forefront and a minimal concern for online privacy) but we’re not the only ones doing it. Consider how many news stories you discovered through social media. I learned about Michael Jackson’s death from Facebook. My local news comes through this route as well.

Face it – as Millennials, social media beats the traditional channels as a news resource.

It is with all of these considerations that I am not baffled by the mega-sharing behavior of my generation.

So is it news if it’s not on social media?

Recently, I had some exciting personal news. I shared it with all the usual suspects: Close friends, family, work, etc. I shared it in person, via phone, emails, letters and even private video chats.

I did not, however, disclose it on social media.

The reason is simple: It’s my news. I want to be in control of who knows about it and how they find out. Too many times I found out news about close friends and family through a status update and I would have preferred that personal conversation. So it remains off social media (including this blog) until I’m ready.

What’s interesting is how Millennials, including myself, react and engage to the news sans social media. So how did it go? These are all real comments.

  • “Wow, that’s great! I must have missed that on Facebook.” — friend
  • “I wanted you to know in person, before you found out some other way, like social media.” — me
  • “Would you just share it on Facebook already? I’m dying to talk about it online.” — friend
  • “Please keep this off social media for now – we’ll share it there when we’re ready.” — me
  • “If you’re keeping it off Facebook, does that mean it’s a secret? Can I tell my husband even?” — friend
  • “Wow, I’m honored that you’re telling me this way.” — friend
  • “I didn’t want to go to Facebook until I told you in person.” — me

When we’re all so comfortable sharing and being public on social channels, it’s sometimes hard to be traditional. In fact, traditional formats are losing their normalcy. This generation has come to expect social media as a place for sharing news.

I must admit, everyone has been great about respecting our wishes. That doesn’t stop me from checking Facebook and Twitter to sooth my paranoia, however. I know one day I’ll share it there. After all, I am a Millennial.

(Note: I’d be more than happy to tell you in some sort of non-social media format.)

How much do you share on social channels? Do you think it’s a generational mentality? Share your comments here.

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4 thoughts on “It’s not News Unless it’s on Social Media

  1. I totally agree Amanda, my brother recently got engaged and shared it on Facebook before telling the family. There were some seriously hurt people after seeing it.

    I am a firm believe that something’s are meant to be shared in person/over the phone/ or now with video chat and not to the world on a social networking site.

    Yes I think it is a generational mentality, were so connected all the time we don’t even think about sharing everything no matter how personal it is.

    Thanks for the great post!

    1. Thanks Lauren! It’s interesting how some people wouldn’t even think to use social for such news, while others flock to it as a first outlet. Generational gab? Who knows.

      I’m actually watching a preso by Mark Schaefer and he just said “48% of people consider Facebook as a news source.” Interesting, right?

  2. Hi Amanda – I don’t know what generation I am at 52…long tail end of the boomers I suppose.

    As such, I would not dream of posting “meaningful” personal information of any type to social media. To me, social media is a forum to share things of interest such as music, books, etc.

    I have also used to correspond with family members and friends that I would not otherwise speak with very often, but on a casual level.

    To me there is a little bit of the privacy issue. I rarely “check-in” to places and frankly find it annoying when people check in everywhere. All I can think is, who cares.

    To me, while social media may be a great vehicle as a “catalyst” to conversation or for casual conversing, I find it a poor substitute for true human interaction. Body language, scent, sound, the glint of an eye is where I find my social nexus.

    Oh, and the smart phones I see glued to everybody’s hands… I actually use mine as a phone 🙂 I’m thinking that chiropractory is going to boom in 10 years if people don’t pick their heads up once in a while.

    If Chicken Little had been busy tweeting, nobody would have known the sky was falling.

    B.

    1. I love your comment, Barb. You make a lot of great points. To me, social media is not supposed to replace in-person interaction but rather, compliment it. It will be interesting to see how social continues to evolve in the way we communicate! Thanks!

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