Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The Power of Social Networking on our Brains . . . The Herbert Mesa Twitter Follow Phenom

Our brains and thought process thereof are strange things. How synapses fire and things connect and rearrange.


This morning, I am particularly thinking of the power of social networking, and in this example, Twitter.

I’ve been kind of mindlessly and listlessly watching Food Network’s “Next Food Network Star,” not really getting into it all that much this season and not really caring who won and sort of reacting a bit negatively to the “I’m a STAR!” thing some of the FN cooks/chefs have really aggressively attached to their names more here lately it seems. But, it’s something to do, television is, when I just want to Not Think.

So, the other day, I go into my email and see that I have new twitter followers. I always check them out, and I follow an eclectic group of people, not just writers and book people, but foodies and artists and people who just make me laugh or think. I'm http://twitter.com/katmagendie .


In my new followers list was Herbert Mesa. The name sounded familiar and when I clicked on it, I saw that it is the Herb Mesa who is a finalist on Food Network Star—the account seemed real enough (sometimes people put up fake accounts), so I thought, why not? And I followed him back. His twitter account is: http://twitter.com/herbmesa by the way .


He posted a few tweets about “Hey Guys! Help me out by voting . . .” and et cetera.

Now, something curious and completely unexpected and unplanned happened next. When I next watched FNS, I suddenly “Saw” Herb as a person that I related to in a way that was connected somehow solely by my brain—he wasn’t just some two-dimensional image on the TV screen. He’d followed me; I’d followed back; he’d asked for help; suddenly I wanted to help him. Mind you, again, before this I was mostly ambivalent.

Next I know, I’m rooting for Herb to do well. Next I know, I’m going on the vote site on Food Network (something I’d not done at all before this) and clicking on his name and the word: “Vote.” Suddenly, I am rooting for this guy because he seemed—what? Approachable? A nice guy? He followed me and that endeared him to me? He simply asked? Whatever my brain synapses decided, they did it on their own and I reacted to that.

Brain whirring and deciding whatever it decided, all from that “Herbert Mesa is following you on Twitter” email I received.

We should never underestimate the power of Social Networking, but beyond that, we shouldn’t underestimate the power of just reaching out and “Following” or “Friending” someone or making a comment on their blog, et cetera—making that personal connection that says “I’m here; I’m a real person; I need your support. Hey, here I am! It’s me!”

Granted, I’ve never gone on any social networking site and asked anyone to buy my books, because, well, that’s a bit different –there’s money involved and it just seems “not right” for me to do that, and books are so personal, you know? However, it makes me very happy when social networking finds me new readers—what if social networking sent my books into Best Seller status (I've been on a couple of "best seller" lists-regionally and on kindle, however!)? I do know that through my blog I have reached many new readers all over the world—something I’d never have done without social networking. And through Facebook, readers have “friended” me and I’ve come to know them (I'm on FB with my name: Kathryn Magendie). Through twitter I’ve ‘met’ some truly wonderful people, too. I’ve found new authors on soc networking myself, and have bought their books--authors I'd never have known otherwise.

So, meanwhile, my brain has flickered and rearranged and somehow decided that I should root for Herb Mesa on Food Network Star, just because he followed me, just because my brain worked out that this was what it wanted me to do. So, well,—go Herb!

brain image

16 comments:

kim said...

Twitter is such a great social network, allowing you to reach out and connect and help as well. Yay for this Herb! I do very little of FB. I've been checking into Tumblr and that looks awesome too.

Diane said...

My greatest twitter claim to fame is that Michael Hyatt CEO of Thomas Nelson, DM'd me on twitter for a comment that I made. Squeeeeee!!!!!

:O)

john bord said...

impressions/perceptions
our connections
make decisions

Jennifer Shirk said...

Hey, that's a really cool story!

I really am liking twitter more and more because in those short little tweets I feel i can connect with people better and faster.

Titus said...

I don't tweet, don't tempt me...
(a la Fred Astaire, please).

Titus said...

I don't tweet, don't tempt me...
(a la Fred Astaire, please).

Karen said...

That's so cool. I watch that show. Now, I feel like I have a connection with Herb! :)

Sarah Baron said...

Interesting and observant post. I like the way you followed what happened from a twitter contact on through to the end.

Debbie said...

Having just posted about my new addiction to TFN, I love this! And what a thrill to have him follow you. I completely understand why you suddenly found yourself doing things you never did before. I guess that is why politicians have people tweeting for them. Now, if we can only figure out who is "really" following us and who has minions:)

t i m said...

Without social networking, its mostly likely I wouldn’t have known anything about The 'Graces' Sagas or the author so I’m forever grateful to it for getting me connected with so many interesting folks from my vicinity and also far beyond.

I was always a little tentative about joining twitter, but 3 months after signing up as of yesterday, I’ve no regrets whatsoever.

I’m going to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival http://www.edfringe.com/ next week after hearing about it via twitter, although I've since learnt it’s been going for many years unearthing new comedy talent who’ve gone on to do big things on stage, radio, TV in the UK & also across the pond.

I’m now off to buy a Scottish to English dictionary so I can understand the natives when I arrive. :)

Kerry said...

I'm a terrible social networker, both in real life and in all the other places, too. But I do know what you mean about people beginning to take shape through these kinds of communications. That's what happened with dear Barry, isn't it? He became real through the writing in his blog, and everybody who hung out there felt like they knew him. Pretty cool.

Herb Mesa said...

Great artical thanks for following Look forward to your tweets.

Anita said...

What an interesting perspective you've put on this. I dont personally use twitter but I do feel connected to the people I follow through their blogs!

Deb Shucka said...

It's all about relationship, isn't it? I haven't ventured into Twitter yet, but reading this brings me a baby step closer.

jeannette said...

I'm still very ambivalent about the whole thing of social networking-on- line - I'm all for it in the real world.
Maybe because I miss the part getting "a sense" of the person, the 75% non-verbal cues they send out when talking to them face to face.

For business purposes I think it's a great tool. Don't think about the money - people give their money gladly if they think it's worth buying.
Is your book worth buying?
Maybe you can ask someone else to make an ad for you to sell your books - don't you think they're worth reading? How do they know your book even exists??
The book "The Shack" went from word of mouth, but books seldom become popular that way anymore...
Anyways, a long way to say have a great weekend!:):)

colbymarshall said...

Very cool...twitter is lots of fun to me ;-) I love social networking online, especially for writers. You develop a lot of cool connections.