Root word, “Lurk” which means, in computers, to read messages written by other people on the Internet in a newsgroup, chat room, etc., without writing any messages yourself, as defined by Merriam Webster Dictionary.
I admit. I was once a social media lurker. I have accounts in various social media sites, from Friendster back then, to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Foursquare and a whole lot more. I created all of those just for the sake of creating them – so I won’t be left behind by my peers and with what’s “in” without actually using them such as participating in conversations, posting photos, and all other things that should be done by an active social media user.
I never really believed in the promise that’s brought by social networking and social media. My defense back then would be “Why would I invest most of my time in something that is virtual when I can do all of those things personally?” in reference to making new friends, chatting and the like.
However, it is our nature as humans, especially young ones that we adapt to constant changes especially that the advent of various technologies pushed us to do almost all of the things in a more convenient way using the internet. So, I gave in. I came to befriend and make the most of what a social media site can offer.
As a social media user I have discovered that more than making new friends, sharing experiences and interests, social media sites can provide me with benefits and advantages:
- On finding better opportunities. Social media sites such as LinkedIn serve as platforms for professionals to showcase their online resumes to prospective companies. Companies also maintain pages and accounts in these sites for recruitment and company updates. I see to it that my LinkedIn account is updated and in place so it can come handy in case I need to use this. 🙂
- On catering to my professional and academic needs. I usually join professional groups and forums. I usually read topics and discussions related to my field of expertise and interests such that I could be up to date to various news and issues. I also seek for assistance of other group members whenever I need grad school references – for my outputs and papers. I find them reliable such that I can easily check on their LinkedIn profiles and companies to which they are connected. I get good insights from them most of the time. Me and my grad school classmates also maintain a group where we share our notes and report materials for reference of everyone.
- On learning something new of my interest. Learning something new seems to require so little effort when you incorporate them in your social media sessions. I always browse articles of various topics usually “Do-It-Yourself” ones, video tutorials, or just anything that captures my attention. I maintain a Pinterest account for all of these and other times I download them and store in my archive for future use.
The benefits and advantages I have mentioned above have made me outdo the lurking and convert this to discovering and learning.
As a social media “lurker-no-more”, here’s my personal commitment on its responsible use:
- I will use social media more for my personal growth and development
- I will not post things that are of sensitive and highly confidential information
- I will maintain strict and high privacy settings on all my social media accounts
- I will maintain being a good social media citizen – no to foul language and cyber bullying
- I will post only things that matter.