There are three ways to participate in social media:
You can be a CREATOR of original content. These could be images you’ve taken and uploaded to Instagram or musings you tweet.
You can be a CONSUMER of content. This means you just read the feeds and don’t interact and participate in sharing.
And lastly, you can be a CURATOR of content. These are folks that like, share, retweet, and repin the works of others.
As usual, Pareto’s 80/20 plays out: 80% represent a mix of consumption and curation while 20% of the content is fresh.
You aren’t necessarily praised more or given more clout as a content creator. Sites like Pinterest fuse creativity with curation; pinning an image discovered on the web feels like original content to both Pinner and the community.
There’s also people that aggregate feeds and combine content into something new, such as what I do with this blog or what Maria Popova does with Brainpickings.
Whatever type of social participation you pursue, make it a valuable use of time. Learn and discover new things. Allow others to pique your curiosity. Ask them questions; you might just get a response. Above all, stand out. Show the world what makes you unique. The work doesn’t have to be your’s.