In social media ranks, there are lots of people who portray themselves as bigger than they are and incredibly cool in what they think and know. And with all the readily available tools for self-promotion, it's never been easier to draw attention to oneself than right now.

For wannabes and immature business people, all the apparently easy possibilities for creating attention are a very attractive nuisance. It can appear highly desirable to vie for attention from social media rock stars. A retweet or brief exchange can feel as if you've made a personal connection with one of them. A cause gaining attention via social media can easily take on the appearance of an important or broadly popular issue. That's the case even when it's grounded on a shaky premise without any strategic thought.

So right now, despite suggestions that social media will change everything around us, one important fundamental hasn't budged even a little: GENUINE is MORE important than ever.

By genuine, I don't mean the standard "be transparent online and reach out to your followers" line that's in every social media overview presentation (including my own).

Instead, I mean real people who have a rich life offline. People who are morally centered. People who truly care about serving others and their ultimate welfare.

I'm talking about genuine people; not people who excel at attempting to appear genuine online.

If you find yourself repeatedly sucked in by the prospect of chasing social media stars, do yourself a favor. Find some real people you can actually meet and know in real life. Talk with them in real life. Share your experiences to try and benefit them. Treat them with kindness. Be a genuine friend to them.

Trust me; you'll be a lot better off for having done it. - Mike Brown