Define Social Media

According to Merriam-Webster, “social media” is defined as:

“forms of electronic communication (as Web sites for social networking and microblogging) through which users create online communities to share information, ideas, personal messages, and other content (as videos)”

Is social media a verb or a noun? Is it a thing or is it something we do?

I ask this because I’ve been a bit confused over the past few months over this whole term “social media”.

When I think about it, “social media” (entire phrase) is a “thing”. Say social media to me, I think Twitter, Facebook and other platforms. Things. Can’t just say “social” and you can’t just say “media”. In today’s world, that’s like Seattle without a pro team. Scratch that. That’s like Phoenix without the Suns. No? Okay, how about Jay-Z without Beyonce?

* moving on *

The definition also says “forms of electronic communication”.

Oftentimes people see what they want to see. We each have our own thoughts and ideas about a subject, especially when we’re passionate about it. Our passion and ideas have a tendency to blur what really is, in this case, reality.

Why do I write this? I write this because I’ve noticed a growing frustration with social media from people on all platforms. A few years ago, there wasn’t as much talk of branding or social media marketing on Twitter. Today, it’s as much a part of the Twitter landscape as sports, in my Twitterverse. Not saying that is good or bad. It just is. 

Branding, marketing is a to action. More often than not, companies, schools and teams are using social media to talk to you. Just like in a television commercial, they are selling something to you, whether it’s a product, tickets, merchandise, whatever – they want you to buy something from them. One-way communication.

That’s not to say it isn’t two-way communication. That may be the result of using social media. That’s not necessarily doing social media, which to me sounds like a verb, not a noun as defined by Merriam-Webster.

I say that because those frustrated want to separate the social part from the word media. Social meaning, interaction, talking, discussing…socializing. Socializing like you would in the real world. Only problem is that social media, for all it’s promise, is still just a thing

It’s not an action.

It’s a thing.

Social media is what we make of it. With any activity, what you put in is what you get out. You put in the exercise and good eating habits, you’re going to look and feel healthy. Make solid choices about who you follow, like or circle and you’ll get a solid return in your streams or circles, right? If some one person, company, team or school is just marketing to you or just speaking “to” you, maybe don’t follow, like or circle?

You’re in control of what comes through on the social media you use.


What do you think? How do you define social media? Is it a thing or an action to you? Can you take the social out of social media to make a point? Am I off-base on this?

Let me know your thoughts in the comment section below. I’m more than willing to learn. Would love to hear from you?


CadChica Sports

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