I struggled with what direction I wanted to go for this column. I was passionate about many things taking place currently, but I didn’t know if I could comment without pushing an opinion. On the other hand, SEX is something people like to think about, talk about, and act on, but is too broad to write about (I probably would give inaccurate terminology anyway). Last but not least, I still don’t want to head into any political arena with anyone, but politics did come into play when I finally chose to write about “social media,” how it affects our industry, and what we can do to improve what is being said.
“Social media” is a phrase that we throw around a lot these days, often to describe what we post on sites and apps like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, to name a few. I, personally, have procrastinated up until last year from getting into the social media scene and slowly tackled the Instagram, Facebook, and most recently LinkedIn. I had to enlist the aid of my 12-year-old daughter to get started on this endeavor and discovered that once you get signed up and ready, you are thrown into a whole new world. For instance, many organizations choose not to use “snail mail” anymore, so they send information to the members of the organization via one nice Facebook post. The most recent negative aspect of Facebook is the political crap (oops! did I say that?) that is being tossed around.
I enjoy Instagram, which is mostly pictures and short blurbs; it is more like seeing a picture book than reading a novel. Instagram used to be the “spy on your child” media of choice, but according to my now 13 year old, Snapchat is the teen favorite way to drive your parents over the edge route. With Snapchat, your little darling can send a picture and/or text and once the recipient receives it, it lasts 10 seconds; I can’t even get focused to see a post in that amount of time.
Along with Instagram, Twitter is also taking the teens and young adults by storm. Your media whiz can post something and all their followers can get sucked into what has been said. This age demographic takes in and spits out more information faster than any previous generation.
All of these forms of social media are all ways to communicate with your peers or anyone willing to listen. The beauty of social media is the ability to spread information and get it into the hands that need it. At the same time, not everything you see and read on the internet is the truth. Unfortunately, the negative media is what people view first and react to. Social media is how people form their opinions, so we want to help them form positive ones on issues we, as farmers, face. Everything you post creates attention and how you interact with information shared generates a bigger footprint on line for that topic. Simply put, the more positive information being tossed around over the World Wide Web, the more people will gravitate towards a progressive view.
So, get on board and go out into the shared vortex of social media and convince your “friends” that Farming is Sexy and that we are doing the right things on our farms and ranches. Post photos of happy cows, goats, and sheep basking in the sun. Crops such as fruit, nuts, berries and vegetables make for great conversations, along with pics of the kids getting physical around the farm. For those who are born with the gift of gab, “blogging” is an exceptional way to chat and give facts on certain subjects that others have no clue about.
Someone always cares what is being said: make an impression.
Lori Pavlicek, President