Today I had the amazing opportunity of getting to hear the XIV Dalai Lama speak live at my Alma Mater – Loyola University Chicago. I’d been looking forward to it for weeks and it was just as amazing as I thought it would be.
His speech was on “Interfaith Collaboration” and he stressed the importance of finding inner peace and self confidence being the foundation of living in a more accepting and collaborative world. I’ve heard that he’s a pretty funny person, but hearing his jokes firsthand was something else. He had the audience laughing multiple times throughout the lecture. It was great to see that he acted like a normal person. In fact, that was his opening point, he’s just a regular person like anyone else we know.
As a community manager though, I couldn’t help but notice certain things about the audience. No cameras were allowed but there were camera phones everywhere (mine included). People were sending tweets, posting on Instagram, checking in on Facebook and Foursquare left and right.
Full Disclosure: I’m guilty of most of these.
It didn’t stop there. Even after I got home and logged on to my Facebook page, I noticed even more updates related to the Dalai Lama. People updated their Life Events and posted even more photos. People who didn’t attend the event were also participating on social media by liking, commenting, and sharing posts from others. I can’t say I was surprised at all.
Now here’s an argument. Does being on social media during an event like this take away or add to an event for the attendees? Being a community manager, I typically tend to side with the idea that it adds to the event. Having these photos, videos and conversations on social adds to the experience. What did someone else get from the same event? How many people were at the same event without you knowing? What did my family and friends who weren’t there think of my experience? Questions and answers like these, in my opinion, add to the experience. That’s not to say that I don’t understand the opposite side of the argument either. I can see how tweeting during events may take away from what the Dalai Lama is saying in that moment and other things along that line.
Where do you stand on the matter?