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Business Unplugged™
This blog features Carol Roth's tough love on business and entrepreneurship, as well as insights from Carol's community of contributors.

Social Media- Humanizing Brands and Dehumanizing People?

Written By: Carol Roth | No Comments

This post is officially a part of the Women & Social Media series, orchestrated by the fabulous Margie Clayman.  To learn more and see the other posts, click here.

Social media has been officially embraced by the masses (that time when just about everything ‘jumps the shark’), which has lead to some really amazing opportunities for companies and brands.  It’s been heralded as the catalyst for humanizing brands; it allows previously nameless, faceless companies to interact on a personal level with customers.  Customers feel important and can now bond with their favorite brands.

But at the same time, what has it done to people?  I think that while the brands have become more human, people have become less human.  The common sense, empathy and general courtesy that we as people extend to each other seems to often fly out the window behind the thinly veiled digital barrier.

There seems to be a pervasive attitude that because you said something online, it doesn’t have the same impact as if you said it in person.  Newsflash: it does.

People are posting all sorts of crazy stuff online that they would never have the nerve to say face-to-face.  I have heard horror stories of workers complaining about clients, co-workers and projects on Facebook or Twitter, when the exact same folks they were complaining about could easily (and did easily) see that information.

I have personally, as have many other women I know, received very inappropriate DMs (direct messages on Twitter) from very well known- and in many cases, very married- males.  These are things that none of these “men” (I use the quotations for a reason) would have the balls to say in person.

And I have seen the disintegration of face-to-face relationships.  I have seen people engage more with their mobile devices than with the people in front of them at conferences, networking events or even dinner.

It’s amazing how technology can move some things so far in one direction and other things so far in another.  Let’s try to keep the social in social media and not let technology make us less human.

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Carol Roth is a national media personality, ‘recovering’ investment banker, investor, speaker and author of the New York Times bestselling book, The Entrepreneur Equation. She is a judge on the Mark Burnett (Shark Tank, The Voice, Survivor, The Apprentice) produced technology competition series, America's Greatest Makers, airing on TBS and Host of Microsoft's Office Small Business Academy show. Previously, Carol was the host and co-producer of The Noon Show, a current events talk show on WGN Radio, one of the top stations in the country, and a contributor to CNBC, as well as a frequent guest on Fox News, CNN, Fox Business and other stations. Carol's multimedia commentary covers business and the economy, current events, politics and pop culture topics. Carol has helped her clients complete more than $2 billion in capital raising and M&A transactions. She is a Top 100 Small Business Influencer (2011-2015) and has her own action figure. Twitter: @CarolJSRoth