The fabric of human nature is inherently designed to err. The higher ones public profile the more visible the “mistakes” are to the public. The media is quick to pick up on errors made by celebrities, politicians and business executives and these errors have become the stories in the daily news.
The social web has given the public power to use and in some cases abuse. People express opinions and take positions on anything and everything. The higher your profile is within the blogosphere the more likely you are to screw up once and a while. Whether it be a simply grammar or spelling mistake or you take a position or criticize someone else’s position, we’re all targets for criticism. The open question before us all is do we learn from our mistakes and grow from them or do we fight for our positions even when the facts show we’re wrong. The power of all this “social stuff” is the collaborative power to learn from each other.
What Does It Take to Learn From Others?
Personally every time I have failed then I learn the true meaning of success. I know people who have lost a child or loved one. I know people who have lost hundreds of thousands in the stock market. I have experienced both and largely because of what I didn’t know. These and many others experiences have taught me many lessons but the learning didn’t come until I was humbled by what I didn’t know.
Now I don’t pretend to be a humble person but I can say that unless you can experience humility you cannot learn anymore than you think you already know. Sometimes learning what you don’t know requires a humbling experience. On the other hand if we use wisdom we can gain from the experiences of others and subsequently learn what we don’t know without needing a humbling experience to gain wisdom. However, learning what we don’t know from others can be humbling, it depends on our attitude. Being humbled isn’t a bad thing as long as you have sincere relations to help you learn what you didn’t know.
All this social stuff has everyone expressing an opinion as to what does it all mean and where is it going in the future. Some base their opinions on facts which support their position and some react to other opinions based on vested emotional and egotistical positions. The fact is we’re all learning and sharing what we know based on what we’ve learned in the past. I gain wisdom from listening and learning from the perspectives of others. I then share that which I think I know and that which I am learning. I gain new wisdom and knowledge only to know what I know but have no idea what I don’t know yet. Can social media help us all learn what we don’t know? Absolutely but whether you’re a business or an individual you first have to admit what you don’t know and share what you do.
In the absence of agreement about its meaning, the term “social” is used in many different senses, referring among other things to: attitudes, orientations or behaviours which take the interests, intentions or needs of other people into account. So with all this I ask, if we are the new media shall we follow form and use media for selfish reasons or shall we turn the tide of history in media and use it to help each other gain wisdom? The social web has given us the power now it is our choice as to what we do with it and how we do it.
What say you?