What if the default for social media participation were compassion and intentionality instead of our tendencies for self-centredness? asks &yet Chief Marketing Officer Sarah Bray in her thought piece, Compassion by Default, for the latest issue of Offscreen Magazine. How might that change our experience of it? Would it allow us to “elevate the power of the collective, while minimizing the suffocating nature of the horde?”
Read an excerpt of Sarah’s piece below and get the mag to read the rest and other excellent articles.
“What if we saw our role in social media not as that of curators of content or collectors of followers, but as caretakers of the people around us? Instead of being concerned about our next status update, we would focus on generously including others in the conversation. How would that change the way we interact with each other and how we feel about those interactions?
Social media prompts us to curate our best moment in parallel with each other. The default for participation is to answer some form of the question “what is happening?” This isn’t a terrible question, but it implies “What is happening to me?”. The conversations these questions initiate can be valuable, but they often feel empty because they are focused on ourselves, seeking approval from others.
What if social media encouraged us to be more curious about the people around us? Maybe it would ask us questions like “Who has inspired you today?” or “What is special about this person?” Or maybe it would motivate us to ask earnest questions of others, rather than constantly probing us to answer them about ourselves.
As my friend Adam Brault reminds me, true community is not based on our relationship with a group. It’s a web of diverse one-on-one relationships. A meaningful, truly social online experience has to find ways to foster more intentional relationships between two human beings, rather than to competitively broadcast the click-worthiest content.”
Source: Compassion by Default by Sarah Bray, published in Offscreen Magazine, Issue 16