Social Media Does A Like = A Friendship?


Toby Bloomberg _Conference Atlanta
Today I had the honor of speaking about social media to a wonderful group of educators and people who work with children and school districts. Toss of a pink boa to Julie Hollis for coordinating a terrifc conference sponsored by Communites in Schools

This post was inspired by and dedicated to educators who are bravely stepping into an the exciting new world of social media; they're opening the doors for our children to learn in a different way. 

  • In order to develop meaningful relationships someone needs to take a risk. ~ Darcy Mullin, On Learning @darcymullin

I've spent the last couple of weeks preparing for this assignment by wandering about the "Social Media Education Village." I'm happy to report there is a vital, exciting, community where some innovative educators are doing creative work in the social web.

On the flip side, there are fears .. the same fears and concerns I've seen from people in other industries: negative comments, internal structure, governance, content, time and resources. Plus one more. How to keep our children safe in this new digital world that will be their home .. in one way or another.

It's a world where the importance of people-to-people connection is Not changing. However, how and where we communcate is different. Mobile smart phones and tablets are the baby steps to a generation beyond what we see now.

It's a world where the importance of keeping our children and ourselves safe is Not changing. However, how and where we create safe spaces and protect ourselves now includes the digital world .. which by the way, is just as real as offline.

It's a world where the importance of friendships is Not changing.  However, defining what friendship means when people we just met or who are friends of friends of friends want to connect with us. Or when a brand pretends to be a person and steps into the social networks where we have built community.  Do we have a new catagory of friend it  "social friendship?"

It's a world where the importance of privacy or what we share is Not changing. However, determining how much and with whom is becoming blurred. Or when an brand's app demands data from us (that might invade the privacy of the people within our online communities) in exchange for playing their games or gaining their information.

 At the end of the day I wonder, does the technology change who we are and what we can expect from this new media life? Or does the technology in an oxymoron way take us one step closer to our humanity?  Does a Like = a friendship?

Thanks to Sherry Heyl for the intro.


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Interesting exploration of the topic. As a marketing professional who helps customers establish a brand personality in social media as well as a mother of teenagers, I can so see both sides of it. I can certainly say that the teens brazenly share a lot more than our generation. And it's a lot tougher to parent with so few precedents.

Posted by: annemoss on Sep 28, 2011 7:01:31 PM

Hi Toby, I’m new at blogging and the entire social media world, but I really enjoyed this blog. In my eyes before I began exploring the social media world a "like" did mean a friendship! But my mind is slowly being changed.

Posted by: Amanda Moss on Sep 28, 2011 7:15:24 PM

@Anne -thanks for your comment. What I find interesting is while most of the Millennials I know do share photos, most set their privacy high and 'friend' only those people they know. In fact they think it's creepy if strangers want to connect with them.

Posted by: Toby Bloomberg - @tobydiva on Sep 29, 2011 12:05:10 AM

@Amanda - Welcome to the blogosphere! Appreciate your kind words. I hope you have as much fun and meet lots of great "real friends" through your participation in the social web as I have.
Best of luck with your studies.

Posted by: Toby Bloomberg - @tobydiva on Sep 29, 2011 12:11:21 AM

Great post and you are the one who will shine light on the importance of using social media to listen, lead, and engage with consumers...
Online Business Virtual Assistant

Posted by: eBay Virtual Assistant on Sep 29, 2011 4:14:31 AM

I won't even try to answer for anyone but myself. Like = Like and only Like; friendship may or may not follow.

Thanks, Toby!

--Donna @WWAHHMpreneur

Posted by: Donna Marie Johnson on Oct 1, 2011 11:45:39 AM

I think it depends on the industry you're in. A 'like' in a industry were the relationship with a customer can be life long one could definitely = a friendship however in a industries we're the customers are known for being flaky then a 'Like' may be nothing more than a click of a mouse.

Posted by: Chris on Oct 26, 2011 5:45:45 PM

Thanks for sharing. Marketing is one of the viral part in business since it is a huge help for your business. Without marketing your business will not be recognized.

Posted by: social network marketing definition on Mar 9, 2012 11:54:25 AM

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