A few days ago, Danny Brown posted an article called Social Media – It’s not just for white folks. The post was inspired by Jay Baer, who was struck at SXSW by the noticeable lack of non-white people in the crowds. Jay wrote a post cleverly titled Blinded by the White: Social Media and Diversity.
Here on this blog, there has been a lot of conversation about gender and Social Media, and that inspired me to start the Women and Social Media series. But there’s one issue that I don’t think too many people are talking about, and it’s one close to my heart. As a 4’5 woman, I am wondering where the other Little People are in the world of business and Social Media.
Why it matters
The seeming absence of Little People of note in the business world is bothersome because of the way Little People are *generally* portrayed and thought of in our society. If you go to Google and do an image search for the word “midget” you will encounter, immediately, offensive images that are not safe for work, children, or sensitive individuals. I myself was thrown into a recycling bin in college and picked on by bus drivers and janitors when I was in high school. This is not to say that Little People have it the worst or worse than anybody else. It’s just to say that in our society, we seem to need something to even the scales a bit. So it is with many groups of people who have been marked as “different.”
Why the gaping void?
There are a lot of blogs out there asking why there are not more powerful women in the world of Social Media. Jay Baer and Danny Brown are asking why there isn’t more race diversity. These are all really good questions, but I feel it is important that we also ask, “Why aren’t there more Little People?” In fact, I’m the only Little Person I know in the Social Media space at this point who navigates in the world of business and marketing. That could just be the limits of my own community, but there certainly aren’t many or any Little People on all of those “tops” lists. Why is this?
I really don’t have a good answer for this other than to say that Little People undergo so much maltreatment that there is perhaps a hesitation to open yourself up to the wide world of Twitter and Facebook. Also, there are people like me who prefer to self-identify as “me” rather than, “that Little Person.”
Yes, I know about Matt Roloff
For those of you who are fans of Little People, Big World, the hit TV show on TLC, yes, I know who Matt Roloff is, and yes, he is a highly respected businessman. So that’s one. He hasn’t made a name for himself via Social Media, however. He probably would not have gotten a whole lot of notoriety beyond the Little People community if he had not done his show.
I don’t have any answers
I really don’t have an answer to my own question. I just wanted to put it out there as we discuss diversity in the realm of business and Social Media. It’s something that I am thinking about. What do you think?
Image by B S K: http://www.sxc.hu/profile/spekulator