I was invited to speak at the uOnline event at UCC last week where the theme was ‘Our identity and wellbeing online’. A diverse number of topics were covered from our identity online (me), safety online, security online, how online tools can help those starting college and banking online.
The morning’s audience were 16-year-old students from local schools. I have so far only delivered talks and workshops to college students and business professionals; this was a new type of audience for me. You see straight off the bat that this audience were of a different generation to what I am used to. Is it just me or do generations seem to change at a much faster rate than before, as the world around changes at that quicker pace? I had included fancy gifs and sayings to keep them interested and alert. I think it got through…
But while listening to the amazing Dr Maureen Griffin* speak to them regarding online safety, you could feel the atmosphere sharpen a bit as little antidotes began to hit home with a lot of the students on the topic of cyber-bullying and how to behave online. When Dr Griffin commented on the need that they seem to have on the importance of having hundreds and hundreds of followers, it even hit home with me. It is one thing I have said to myself on numerous occasions, do I really need that many followers? It is all just a bit of a popularity contest?
In business, doesn’t the quality of the content rank higher in importance than the number of followers we have?
Realistically when you look at a profile of someone or a business, do you look at the number of followers they have and automatically judge them before reading any of their content? I will be honest and I say, I have. The way we behave when looking for information on a person or business has changed because of the fast-paced way we search. We search as if we just don’t have time to wait and look at the content. Our initial instinct is to relay on what others thought and in turn followed them. It is this whole rating mentality that we have all become accustomed to online.
I had another person in business mention that I need more followers. I understood what they meant at the time, but I wasn’t too bothered. I don’t like the idea of buying followers, I really don’t see the point. I would prefer the least number of followers who will take the time to connect and react to the quality of my content. Analytics tell me that I have a good number of hits on my website being directed from social media platforms and then they sign up for the newsletter. This to me is the quality follower I would prefer; who will recommend me to a buddy or become a loyal customer and follower for the future.
What would you prefer?
*Dr. Maureen Griffin B.A. M.A. Ph.D. is a forensic psychologist. Maureen specialised in the area of online offending and recognised the need for education/training for children and those responsible for their care and protection. Maureen has visited over 600 primary and secondary schools across Ireland; worked with organisations responsible for the care and protection of children; provided training in relation to online offending behaviours for those working with offenders and delivered lectures on Forensic Psychology and Criminal Behaviour Courses in Universities across Ireland.
I would highly recommend Dr Griffin speaking at your local school.