Last week Instagram added video capabilities. Within hours, I was reading blog posts by some about how this was a “Vine killer,” while others lamented that it was a bad move by Instagram that would prove to be a fatal error.
We saw the same sort of thing when Facebook added support for hashtags. Well, actually it happens every time Facebook makes a move. It’s either the greatest thing since sliced bread, or the worst thing to happen to the internet.
New platforms are lauded as “game changers” or “(Insert platform name) killers.” We heard respected bloggers say this about Google Wave and Google Buzz. Whey MySpace relaunched, there were those who lauded its slick interface, saying it spelled trouble for the other platforms.
Every change on every platform, from Instagram and Pinterest to Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Google + is put under the microscope immediately, and before the paint is even dry, we’ve declared it as the greatest thing ever, or the worst possible move. And at times, it seems as if we communicate these things as if they are fact, and not merely our opinions. Heck, I think Instagram videos and hashtags on Facebook are smart moves. I think they are improvements and they will perform well.
But is it a Vine killer? I have no idea. I think it could hurt Vine, but I’m not about to proclaim it dead.
Then there were other articles declaring Instagram video a huge success based on how many people posted videos on the platform the first day. Really? On the first day there is a buzz and a lot of people are testing it out and sampling it. That’s like judging the success of a product based on how many people picked up your free sample at the grocery store one day. Shoot, I take free stuff that I don’t need all the time! I’ve got a basement full of stuff I picked up for free because, “it might come in handy some day.”
With real time access to social media, we tend to rush to judgement. We are all experts with opinions and it’s as if we want to shout louder to be heard. So we throw reason out the window and go to extremes. We act as if it’s an all or nothing proposition. And the beauty of the internet is, if we make a proclamation, and it proves to be correct, we can toot our own horn and tell everyone we were right.
But, if we are wrong, well, that’s OK. Sure it’s there on the internet, but people forget. We can even pretend as if we knew what was gonna happen all along. That’s the way it works online. We have to weigh in with an opinion on everything that’s new, out of fear that we aren’t relevant.
Shout louder, post faster, rush to judgement!
None of us has a crystal ball, and none of us can make well-reasoned judgments about the potential success or failure of anything right off the bat. We’ve all been wrong on any number of occasions. This is why the news media is having a hard time keeping up with the speed of the internet.
Take some time. Process the information. Test things. Do your research. Try to leave your personal biases behind. Don’t just tell me, “I don’t like it, so it won’t work.”
Just as in politics or religion, technology is an issue where we tend to gravitate toward those with whom we agree, and we read things that reinforce our own opinions. That’s not healthy, and it certainly isn’t research. And as frustrating as it can be at times, that’s why I love my Facebook newsfeed. Holy cow, that’s a diverse group of people.
And I know we are all prone to knee-jerk reactions. I sure am, but I’m trying. I try to be careful about my pronouncements. Let’s take some time to think through what it is we are saying and proclaiming. Let’s slow down in our rush to judgment. Seems like when we rush, we often have a trail of lemmings following us as we leap off of cliffs. We are so quick to divide into camps, (did I mention that my feet are firmly planted in the PC camp, as opposed to Apple?).
Isn’t there something to be said for the middle ground? Does everything have to be black or white? Grey is an option at times, right?
- How Small Businesses and Nonprofits Can Use Instagram Video and Vine (inklingmedia.net)
- 7 Key Takeaways From Mary Meeker’s Internet Trends Report (v3im.com)
- Social Media Isn’t What You Think It Is (aikenwebsolutions.com)
- 5 Lesser Known Social Networks to Consider for Your Business (inklingmedia.net)
- The changes to Google+ are great. But they don’t matter (businessesgrow.com)