My formal education didn’t progress very far but I do remember one thing from data processing. Programmers have a saying about inputs and outputs they call “GIGO”, and this applies to many areas of life, especially social media …
GIGO stands for “Garbage In – Garbage Out”.
Essentially this means the quality of what you get out of a system depends on the quality of what you put into it.
I am sure you are thinking of where I am going with this when it comes to social media.
How many people are trying to game the system, automate their accounts up the wazoo, spam and pitch, when instead they can be listening, conversing, making real connections, and adding something to the community?
At the same time, there are people who are getting great results out of doing just that, but giving all the credit to Twitter, FaceBook, or whichever platform they were using at the time. “I landed a 5-figure project”, “Twitter connected me with my hero”, “FaceBook landed me a book deal”. No, sorry, a social media site did NOT do those things – YOU DID!
If what you get out is proportionate to what you put in, give yourself credit for reaping the benefits of your hard work and quality participation, and you probably shouldn’t blame a site when you get spammed either.
Remember, social sites are just a conduit, and the medium might change but the sound, basic practices remain the same. Treat others as you would like to be treated, listen more than you speak, and be excellent to one another :)
Focus on putting in quality input, and your output will be awesome!