I’ve been meeting a lot of folks who claim to be experts at Social Media.

What does that mean? You don’t need a certificate, or to have been at it for very long, or a degree to be an “expert.” You don’t need to be a member of an association. You can just proclaim to the world that you’re an “expert,” and  lot of people will believe you because the whole topic baffles them.

Lots of folks think I’m an expert because I understand it. However, I don’t consider myself an “expert” per se because I don’t exploit it. I don’t “Crush It” trying to drum up business with it. Why? Because in the current business I’m in — “web design and social networking” there are zillions of “experts” and quite frankly I’m tired of competing in the market. There are so many things to know to really be an “expert.” And I think perhaps it’s good to have a few successes under your belt to show for it.

I suppose in the scale of things, I am an expert. But I’m extremely hesitant to tell ANYONE that they “should” or “need to” use any social media tools or sites. I’m also aware of the fact that if they think I’m an “expert,” I can give them all the answers they’re searching for. (I don’t, there are so many ways to skin this cat – ouch – where did that phrase come from?)

Maybe it’s because I’m “older.” Maybe it’s because I have so many other interests that don’t involve the computer… but I think there’s just to MANY expectations that people put on themselves these days.

I read an interesting blog post by one of the most well known “social media experts,” Chris Brogan. He blogs a LOT. He’s a guru for sure. He was talking in this particular blog post of sneaking into his office on Saturday to answer 100’s of emails. His blog was about how to write an email that he’ll answer. It’s a good essay on writing an email that’s easy to read. However, sneaking into the office on a Saturday to answer 100’s of emails does NOT sound appealing to me. In fact, it’s one of the things I dreaded when I owned a larger company and had 100’s of clients. Uggg, time to open my email. So many people expect an immediate answer!

I’ve read the book “Crush It!” by Gary Vaynerchuk. He’s also a “guru” in the social marketing field. I referred to this book in the second paragraph of this blog. To “crush it” is to spend every spare second you have using social media (Twitter, FaceBook, YouTube, etc, etc) to market yourself and/or  your product. I actually really loved the book – it has so much great information and great tips.

However, I just can’t force myself to spend all of my time at the computer any more. I love technology (well, in particular anything Apple related). It’s one of my biggest hobbies and has afforded me to make a very good living for many years.

And if I was to do it all over again – I would have stopped sooner and started later most days. I would have walked more, painted more, sang more and went to lunch with friends more often (to talk friend stuff, not business stuff.)

Absolutely, I agree Social Networking is helping us all become connected and in many strange and wonderful ways “more human.” It’s actually really cool and an amazing phenomenon if you take the time to study it. It CAN make a huge difference in your business, you can meet hundreds and thousands of like minded folks you would never meet any other way (and perhaps do business with some of them.)

It’s also created a channel for lots folks who can’t communicate well in person, and folks who make themselves into something they aren’t when they’re on the computer. Video games and computer use have contributed to a fat and unhealthy society. Don’t even get me started on the violence….

My point is – keep in in balance. And keep it real. If you WANT to share your life, pictures, opinions and brilliance on Facebook – the do it! Go to town.

If you like the idea of tweeting short pithy genius statements to the world – go for it!

If you have funny, educational, amazing videos of yourself on a subject that the world needs to hear — share away (but please, don’t cross the line into pontification!)

But by all means, don’t loose sleep over it. Don’t do something you dread and will hate doing. If you’re not having fun, guess what – it’s obvious!

Life is about being human – being your own unique human self. THAT’S what the world is interested in seeing.

Enjoy, connect, learn.

I’m off to bake some bread… for real… in the kitchen… with flour and yeast… in the oven — oops the bread maker. (But, not on a cool app on my iPhone — geeez).

Talk with ya soon.

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