Social media monologue

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I had coffee the other day with a guy.  He shared his thoughts, his ideas, his insights, his stories, and his history over the course of an hour.  As we ended our meeting, he said

Sorry I talked so much…next time, I want to hear from you!

So two weeks later, we had coffee again.  And you know what he said as we finished the meeting?

Sorry I talked so much…next time, I want to hear from you!

Meetings that are driven by monologue are not so much fun.

Meetings that are driven by listening and dialog are much more productive.

The social media monologue

And when we look at social media as bite-sized, micro meetings, the same principle holds true.

When social media is used as a monologue, it’s seen by others as a waste of time.  Boring.  Self-serving.

But when social media is seen as a dialog, it can be engaging, meaningful, productive, and generous (I wrote about social media and generosity HERE).

I’m not aiming to simply broadcast my thoughts and ideas out so that others can hear.  I’m ready to dialog about this stuff.  I’m ready to open up a dynamic conversation within different communities around the globe.

There are some people who want you to hear their message, but don’t care about hearing yours.  Those are the conversations I don’t care to have.

Those who are using social media most effectively are starting conversations and building relationships.

Have you built authentic relationships with others online?

Have you seen dynamic, robust communities share ideas collaboratively online?



Christ follower, husband, father, writer, small groups pastor at Saddleback Community Church. Communications director for the Small Group Network.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • Jason Vana

    When I first started out on Twitter, I definitely wasn’t an engager. I didn’t really understand Twitter at the time and none of my friends at that point used it, so I was just broadcasting my thoughts. It wasn’t until I started conversing with people that i actually started to enjoy using Twitter.

    Now I have not only developed some great friendships on Twitter and my blog, but I’ve also picked up some paying graphic design gigs – all because of relationship. It’s so key.

    • Ben Reed

      That’s awesome, Jason! Relationships are definitely key.

  • Noah Lomax

    Excellent article, Ben!

    When used selfishly, social media is transformed into a room full of hundreds of people shouting, “Hey, listen to me! I have the answer!” But when used properly, it quickly becomes a network of encouraging and sharpening relationships.

    I’m very thankful for what I have learned from many others in my social media network!

    Thanks for the post!

    • Ben Reed

      That’s a good word, Noah. When nobody is listening, it’s like people are talking right past each other.

  • Luther Wesley

    Twitter was lost on me when I first started and my wife had to drag me to Facebook but since then I have gained an appreciation for social media and the potential to not only reach people but to learn from them. Broadening one’s horizons while holding true to your convictions are two of the exciting things about social media in my opinion

    • Ben Reed

      I’m with you, Luther…I love the learning aspect of social media.

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