This is a part of a special series looking at how social media has impacted the lives of its users. This week, the story comes from Mark Longbottom.
I guess you could say my social media story started in 1981 after leaving school, going to college and meeting like-minded people.
From this point to the last, or next post on Instagram, I?ve lived socially and sociably looking to connect globally with like-minded people no borders or boundaries.
How else could I progress if I only talked to people in my neighborhood, and refused to learn from those out of reach over the border whether an ocean or kitchen table?
Always looking to connect, talk and listen while being available and accessible – SOCIAL.
Using the relevant media/medium to connect and talk to relevant/irrelevant people – MEDIA.
Working as a conceptual artist, performance artist, graphic designer, web developer and social media consultant, I always look for people to connect with and learn from with interaction, participation and response always the focus.
My belief in social is simple:
Social media is all about being YOU, but remember it?s not about YOU.
Through the 1980?s/90?s I was an active Mail Artist sharing creativity with a massive global network of artists through the postal service.
From 1988 to 1991, I asked people to send me ?Grass 1 Blade or More? with an exhibition of 346 samples from 50 countries. The show was more about the answer and engagement to the question than the product, as is most artwork.
I also spent around 15 years performing as a ?Living Sculpture?, with up to 8-hour performances analysing my audience embracing, enabling and enjoying their participation and response.
The experiences learned from the interaction of mail artists, and the analysis of audiences often 200+ people changing every minute of a day, are part and parcel of what I use and utilize everyday in my ongoing online social media story.
[clickToTweet tweet=”Social media is all about being YOU, but remember it?s not about YOU. #socialmediastories” quote=”Social media is all about being YOU, but remember it?s not about YOU. #socialmediastories”]
I?ve taken my offline communities online and developed new and wider networks on all the major platforms.
One of my largest and longest pieces of conceptual artwork was a LinkedIn group, based on showing how people would genuinely talk to each other in a supposed professional environment.
My social networking activity continues to connect me with 1000?s of people who I can call friends and family.
So from the first ‘zine I posted around the world in 1983, to the 1000?s of likes/followers on Instagram everyday now, the story won?t stop until I do.
My story is about being an active user and not a theorist.
Technology will come and go but the constant will always be people ready to talk – so if it makes sense talk back, if not then share what they say with someone who you know and think they should know.
It?s more than just sharing things with friends.
It?s all about connecting, clicking and caring.
About the author: Mark Longbottom is a social media consultant based in Huddersfield, England, talking and working sociably with people everywhere.?
Consulting, creating and championing social media activity that makes sense.?Let’s undo things, let’s be sociable, let’s talk now.