I have never seen a political or religious argument ascend into pics of the grandkids or even what someone had for dinner last night but I have seen pics of the grands or your latest, greatest dinner devolve into a verbal assault. Entropy – the idea that things fall apart, that organization more easily turns to disorganization rather than the other way around. Somehow, the second law of thermodynamics applies to social media as much as it does to physics.
Resisting the pull of entropy takes coordination, planning and work. It requires having a plan before you start building and having a strategy to deal with conflict before the conflict even begins. Let me ask you this – what is the strangest or most disappointing facebook argument you ever witnessed or, hopefully not, participated in? What was it that drew you in? Why do you think you just couldn’t seem to resist the pull into the war zone?
When I was a kid we would have lego demolition derby at our babysitters house. We would spend quite a bit of time constructing our vehicles. Then we would get several feet apart and smash them into each other. Whichever one survived made it through the bracket, single elimination until we finally crowned a champion. Building the vehicle took a lot more time than destroying it but somehow smashing them together was far more enjoyable than the building process.
Social media is too often just like that. It can take a lot of effort to construct something meaningful on social media and it can be destroyed in an instant by someone with little to no investment in what is actually going on. If we are going to overcome entropy we have to have a plan and that is what I am going to lay out in the next post.