It’s All About Me!

With all the “me,” where’s the “we” and the “you?”

“…but enough about me, lets talk about you…what do you think about me?”

The share of adult Internet users who have a profile on an online social network site has more than quadrupled in the past four years — from 8% in 2005 to 35% in 2008*

Have you noticed? Social media is blowing up these days and I believe one of the biggest reasons for that, is that it gives us all a chance to say, “LOOK AT ME!” I invite you to stand “on the outside” as you take a look inside of what’s motivating (some of) us to become so active with social media, as it has certainly reached its tipping point. Allow me to explain the “Look at me” perception, by reading between the lines of many people’s usage of social media.

CLICK to WATCH

Consider these translations:
Facebook = “Look at memy pictures … my 1,500 ‘friends!'”
LinkedIn = “Look at how successful I am, how many successful people I know and how connected I am.”
Twitter = “Look at what I’m doing RIGHT NOW!”

Of course, this does not apply to everyone but it seems at least prevalent enough to be … noticeable. Do you recognize the “Me Monster” in any of your recent posts?

I’ll admit that I’ve been grappling with how to deliver this message without offending anyone. But, as an active user – both personally and professionally – of social media, I can’t help but notice how me-centric many of our posts have become.

Have you noticed that billions of dollars are being spent on advertising products that contain (“i,” “me,” “my,” and “you?”) Did you know you can even register a “.me” (dot-me) web site? I just went to see about “www.LookAtMe.me” … it’s already taken. Social media gives us all a voice and we can choose to use that voice for good … or take a one-way trip to me-ville. Choose to use your power for good. Ask yourself, “How can I be a source of value for my friends, colleagues and clients?”

Here are three ways to get outside yourself and place the focus on others:

1. Spread the news
Have you ever unsubscribed from an eNewsletter? Most of us have, often because we no longer see what’s in it … for us. Take a new approach. Instead of reading eNewsletters solely for yourself, skim the headlines and think of someone you know that would enjoy each article, then pass it on. It takes only seconds but the recipient will know you were thinking of them. You could also quickly and easily post it to Twitter, LinkedIn and/or Facebook. You can also take it to the next level by clipping something out of a newspaper or magazine and mailing it to someone.

2. Make introductions
One of the coolest things about having an online network of friends and associates is that you can easily take on the role of “connector.” This is such a rewarding practice, but I haven’t quite figured out why it isn’t more common. A few months ago, I introduced a couple of friends via e-mail. Suzi (an executive coach who lives in Maryland) and Adam (a copywriter who was living in Florida). I thought there might be some synergy there and saw a way for them to benefit from each others’ expertise. Suzi and Adam became fast friends, helping and supporting each other’s businesses. Then something really big happened – Suzi made a connection for Adam with a company in Colorado. Adam eventually moved from Florida to Colorado to work for that company. He’s now living exactly where he wanted to be and is involved in some very challenging and rewarding work. It’s nice to see a great friend so happy.

3. Promote others
Life is not a zero-sum game. When you give, that doesn’t mean there will be less for you. There’s enough for everyone, yet I see many people living with a scarcity mentality. Selfishness is transparent. No one likes a me-monster who’s only looking out for his or her own interests and benefit. What are your friends, colleagues & clients “up to?” Share those events, news stories, blogs, etc. with your friends on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and in everyday conversation. As John F. Kennedy put it, “A rising tide lifts all boats.” Be that rising tide.

It's all about me

Who do you know that’s already providing great value to others? Share your thoughts by clicking on “comments” near the top of this article.

“You can have everything in life you want if you will just help enough other people get what they want.”
-Zig Ziglar

*Pew Internet & American Life Project – January 2009

Comments

  1. Kyle S. says:

    A fantastic post with an equally fantastic message, Steve. YOU are really the one delivering true value to all of US by sharing your thoughts. I love reading your blog posts and hope you add more of them, and more often!

  2. Masoud A. Edalatkhah says:

    Love the discussion. What does this mean for a society seemingly addicted to these social media sites? Where is it leading our future leaders? Will all this “playing to one’s ego” significantly change our social giving responsibilities? THERE’S SO MUCH GOING ON! LOL

    While I am certainly not a social media guru, I think users fall into two categories: Personal and Business.

    Within those two categories, we choose to be:
    Addicted/obsessed,
    Balanced, or
    Turned-off but still curious.

    Steve, you bring up a good point that there should be equal commentary coming from users to tell the world 1. About themselves and 2. About others. Most people are so focused on themselves and their little world that they’re missing out on the true joy of giving.

    I think you should start a mission to change the social media “me” front and create a social media giving front!

    🙂

    Thanks for bringing up another great discussion topic.

  3. Allison Dilling says:

    Steve,

    I agree to an extent, but one of the best parts for me on using facebook is being able to comment on other people’s ‘look at me’ statements. I love congratulating, encouraging them or knowing something I hadn’t known before and comment more often than I post my own statements.

    But the interesting thing about the ‘look at me’ statements is that people are so open (me included as I’ve gotten more comfortable using the platform). Many times your telling 100+ friends, half of which you probably touched base with once or twice a year before being connected on facebook, what new thought you have or what you are up too. If you had these 100+ friends in a room, I notice I would probably filter a little bit of what I say or realize that these aren’t my closest 5 friends and they probably don’t care. But I think more people care now and are actively involved in your life and respond to what you say. I think that is the cool part.

    Just a thought. it is late, so hopefully I explained it well.

    Great article. I love your introduction story. You are always making amazing connections and love helping others out!!

  4. Thank you, Kyle.

    Masoud and Allison, really great insights. I appreciate all of you for sharing such valuable feedback.

  5. Steve, it takes guts to write an article like this. Fact is, you are speaking the truth. If more people focused on adding value to others we’de be living in a different world. This article is a must read for business owners. I’ll be sure to ‘pass it on’ to many others. Thanks for your insight!
    Robert

  6. Thank you, Robert. Once people – especially business owners – understand that it’s not about “What are you doing?” after all, the spotlight can be shared and shine on everyone.

  7. Marilynn says:

    Hi Steve (and readers),

    Your emails are a treat! Thank you for adding me to your list. (oops…too many me’s and you’s… lol)

    I enjoy your “out of the box” perception of success. It’s a great motivator to look at everything a little differently, which is good for all of us to do, especially in a challenging environment.

    You’re attitude of giving and loyalty has always been stellar!

  8. Thank you, Marilynn, for sharing your thoughts and feedback.

  9. Chris Jensen says:

    Steve,

    “I” thought your comments were perfect…for “ME” that is. For months “I” have struggled with LinkedIn and how it exposes “ME” to the world. “I” would never think of putting “ME” all over facebook or other social networking tools…and now “I” know why.
    What “I” can do is be the connector that “I” enjoy being anyway. Now it can be all about “ME” as “I” help others find themselves through “MY” connections. “I” am so happy “I” could just break out in a song…”ME,ME,ME,ME,ME,MEEEEEEE.”

    Thanks for the thought provoking message. My friend, please keep it coming…”we” really do enjoy and learn from them.

  10. Sean McNevin says:

    Hi Steve,

    I thought this article was very relevant to your thoughts on gen Y. Thanks for sharing your insight!
    http://mashable.com/2009/08/25/gen-y-social-media-study/

    Best,
    Sean

  11. Great points, Steve! And I have yet another link to share that just came out from Mashable about a study that shows that 80% of Twitter Users Are All About Me!

    http://mashable.com/2009/09/29/meformers/

  12. Another great link, Suzi. I love Mashable — (quite relevant too ;)) Thanks for sharing!

  13. Another great perspective from guru Seth Godin:
    http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/2009/10/notice-me.html

  14. [FUNNY RELATED VIDEO] Beware the “Me Monster” http://youtu.be/vymaDgJ7KLg

Trackbacks

  1. […] social media to talk WITH your clients and prospects, not AT […]

  2. […] When it comes to posting business content on social media platforms, remember to share industry-related content of others *5x-10x more than you do your own. Nobody likes a “Me Monster.” […]

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