Aside from Business, Social Media Is A Great Connector

Ali Davenport is running Connection Festival this month

Explaining what it’s about Ali says

“It’s just an idea. For the month of December, we set up free events and share stuff exploring connection and what it means to us, especially at this time. It’s a way of spreading positivity – and hope – to help us through this difficult chapter in the human story. It’s also a chance to express how we’re feeling about this shared experience we’re going through.”

I’ve been asked to contribute an article as part of the programme and I thought that the title “Aside from Business, Social Media Is A Great Connector” would be a starting point to my thinking of Social Media in 2020

Social Media is what I do for business. It’s how I make my money. Training businesses on how to use Social Media and managing the social media for dozens of brands

I love social media for that reason and all the things that it’s brought me

But this essay isn’t about Social Media for business. It’s about 2020 and how social media is a great connector, especially during the pandemic

Since March 2020 I’ve met up with just 6 people in real life. My best friend, my parents and 3 other friends. The 3 other friends I could count on 1 hand how many times I’ve seen them

Whilst zoom has paid the bills for business, it’s social media that I’ve found has been a real connector of people

It’s social media that has kept me sane

I want to explore that idea of Social Media Is A Great Connector

Freemen Of Altrincham - Alex McCann
CONNECTING WITH FRIENDS

Before lockdown I probably only spent 5 minutes a day on Facebook for person usage

When you spend all day on social media for work, you don’t want to trawl through another newsfeed

That lack of human connection; the lack of handshakes, hugs and smiles; the lack of a social life has meant my time on Facebook has increased maybe 3 or 4-fold

My usage is still way below the national average, but I enjoy every joyful moment of my friend’s lives online

Every comment. Every Like. Every Messenger Chat

The voyeurism of Facebook has really come to the fore as we appreciate the normality in a year that isn’t normal

Facebooks works best when it’s about people, rather than sharing links to news stories and I can’t imagine how tough lockdown would have been without the glimpses into others life online

I don’t think a postcard from the living room or phonecalls would have cut it. We’d have all given up keeping in touch within 4 weeks


CONNECTING WITH MEMORIES

Nostalgia is a powerful emotion

It’s something we’ve all been doing this year – reverting to childhood and happier times

I know that at the end of the year some of my most played music will be U2, Oasis and a glut of Britpop bands

I know that I’ve loved every minute of Arnie Season on Film 4 and classic films like Stand By Me and Robocop

I even spent 30 days making meals that reminded me of 80’s childhood – the opposite of artisan food so think Waffles, Alphabites and chips and beans

Those past reflections become things we connect with our peers about because there is no longer the fix of the new

CONNECTING WITH INTERESTS
If you follow me on social media you know I talk about 3 things all the time

Being Vegan, Running and Rock & Roll

I am more than a job title and I love connecting with people who share the same passions as myself

I’ve always believed that talking about what you love more than what you hate is a winning move

Whatever you love share that passion obsessively over social media

Reach out to like-minded people and ignore the hate from people that don’t share the same passions as yourself

I once was unfriended on all social media from someone who hated the fact I posted a “No Salmon” Vegan Supermarket Sandwich on Social Media. I know, one of those crimes that I should share a cell with Harold Shipman or Fred West for committing, but at the end of the day that person is not my kind of person

Beer Cheshire Tap
CONNECTING WITH NORMAL LIFE

Going on a tram

Going to a pub

Going to a restaurant

Seeing the parents

Getting a takeaway

Going on holiday

Think about all the things prior to March that you took for granted

We will never take normality for granted again

One of my favourite ever songs is “Just For A Second” by the ROMO group Orlando and the lyrics went

“Just for a second
You lowered your defenses
And confessed what the world had guessed:
“Deep down I fear I might actually be
Unremarkable.”

That kind summed up a year where the unremarkable was something we found comfort in

EMBRACE THE POSITIVES OF SOCIAL MEDIA
There are so many negative stories about social media

But imagine how hard this year would have been without social media

99% of social is great – it’s just the 1% that are negative are louder

I’ve enjoyed the connection with people and using social media for purely social

I hope that you have

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