Learning to Share

Sharing takes effort. I’m not talking the about the type of sharing we were taught as kids in kindergarten, but the new sharing we do online. I’m starting to notice those with the strongest online presence are good sharers.

Sharing on sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or on your companies microblogging site like Yammer or Socialcast is different. It’s not an action we were brought up with.

Traditionally, sharing meant sharing”BIG” things; births, deaths, graduations, weddings, etc. We knew to share the big events, the momentous occasions. We shared mostly the big stuff because sharing was so hard. It was too cumbersome to share the small stuff. Sharing meant multiple phone calls, or a mini-letter campaign. Sharing with lots of people was difficult and time consuming. So we did it mostly for the big stuff.

We did share the little stuff, but only with a small group of people, our mom’s and closest friends, and family. We did one person at at time, by phone, or occasionally by letter.

Things are changing. Sharing the little stuff is a lot easier now. It’s a quick Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn status update from your phone or your computer. It takes 5 minutes, yet 10’s, 100’s or even 1000’s of friends and family can experience it. Sharing is different today.

Our sharing habits have been shaped over generations around the “BIG” stuff and social media requires the little stuff. Most of us don’t know how to share the little stuff. It’s uncomfortable. It’s foreign. It doesn’t seem to matter when compared to the big stuff, yet it does. In many ways, it matters more.

Sharing the little stuff builds relationships overtime. The little stuff is more intimate. It’s more personable. The little stuff is much better at creating what is most important; relationships, groups with common interests and connections.

Learning to share today takes effort. It requires we are more conscience of our thoughts. What we once saw as a fleeting observation, is now a potential idea, or thought that can be captured and shared. Learning to do this takes work. Learning how to capture our fleeting thoughts and perceptions and remember to share them is not easy.

Social media is changing how we engage. It’s challenging traditional notions of sharing. It’s asking us to share the little stuff, not just the “BIG” stuff.

We are going to need to learn to share. We need to share the little stuff, not just the big stuff. We need to be more present with our thoughts and observations. It will be critical. Our networks are moving online. They are getting bigger. They are playing a bigger role in our success, at work, at home, in our finances and more.

Sharing is going to be at the core of the asset of the future: our online presence. Sharing just the “BIG” the stuff isn’t going to cut it.