Are you a surfer? A real one, not a web browser surfer.
Even if you are not, have you noticed the similarity of beach surfing versus social media surfing? The fair waves of activity seem to attract most of us. Yet there are times when we don’t dare to climb the biggest waves, not because we’re afraid, rather simply because we are not familiar with them.
The regular waves are easier to pick and act upon, while the big ones we just let pass by.
Most of the times, those big waves are the ones we should be choosing. We are sub-utilizing the best communication tools there are in cyberspace, for the reason that we don’t want to get out of our comfort zone. We prefer to read and see pictures from/of our 153 tribe members, despite the fact that they don’t come showing us anything new. The same old jokes, images, and video clips making the rounds again and again, and we keep watching, commenting, adding, twisting, and liking.
Some big waves are time-related: the holiday season, the awards ceremony, the international tournament, etc. Those we think are all right to ride, and do so gladly.
But there are other bigger waves that sometimes we don’t even notice, or we do notice, but avoid entirely.
As soon as one of theses huge waves shows up in our front page, we avoid it: be it a link to a politics news page, a science related blog, a sociology article, an arts dissertation. Whatever. Right?
Why is this so? Are we afraid of being in the here and now? Is it that we don’t care anymore about what really affects everybody? Do we fear opening the door, stepping out, and exploring the outdoors? Are we so comfortable in our little bubble, that going day to day with the same insignificant routine is better than going for some adventure?
We tend to open indecent, dark, scandalous, time killing, and morbid links, but don’t do it if such links involve thinking, joining a cause, studying, or acting upon.
So, my challenge is this: next time a bold message crosses your favourite social media environment, be brave and explore it. You can always come back immediately if it really causes you any trouble. As we start entering those new adventures, our understanding will expand, and our acceptance of this complex world will become easier and easier. We might even be able to invite and include more of our acquaintances in the journey, making it even cooler and less scary to travel.
Be the agent of change: immerse yourself in and share what matters.
Social Media is not just about inconsequential dialogues, the important stuff is there for grabs too.
Ride the waves.