It is very hard for me to trust someone I’ve never met. For me to trust someone on social media means that many of the characteristics involved in trust–eye contact, body language and tone of voice to name a few–cannot be analyzed. All I have to go on is the social media content being presented to me and how others react to it. So when I was asked who I trust on social media, one name popped in my head. Michael Slezak is a name I’ve mentioned several times in other blog posts as one of my favorite entertainment journalists/critics. I may not always agree with his opinions, but I always respect them.
I follow Michael Slezak on Twitter, his main social media channel of choice. I just found out that he has a personal Facebook profile of which I’m scared to send a friend request because I think he’ll either deny it or ignore it because he doesn’t know me. That’s a dream I don’t need crushed right now. Most of his Facebook posts are public though, so I can view them without needing to be friends with him.
I respect Slezak as a journalist because he is always honest and never afraid to speak his mind. This bleeds into the content he posts on social media as well. He will shamelessly plug certain contestants on American Idol or The Voice with no apologies. If you’ve watched even one episode of his weekly web series Reality Check on TVLine (I’ve watched almost all of them), you know that Slezak actually has plenty of technical musical skills. So even though his favorites are not always my favorites, he backs up his choices with proof of their skills. He certainly has the authority on social media to make people listen to what he has to say. He is one of those people that can get away with self-promotion on social media because he is always so accurate.
His helpfulness on social media may be a little unconventional, but it’s there. He doesn’t respond to every comment on Facebook or every tweet on Twitter, but when he does, it makes an impact. He is constantly sharing other people’s content or retweeting things sent to him by fans or co-workers, showing that he’s willing to promote others as well as himself. He has shared personal details of his life, like being a huge fan of horse racing and being an openly gay married man. Anyone who is as honest as he is in his work and his personal life has earned my trust on social media.
I don’t necessarily think Michael Slezak gains anything from having my trust on social media right now. He has almost 34,000 other people that trust him on Twitter and Facebook as well, so I doubt it would make much of a difference if I trusted him or not. However, when I make my mark in the music criticism and social media world, he will be listed as one of my biggest influences. What Slezak could gain from having my trust is career longevity. I could bring a new audience to him that he currently doesn’t have. As long as he keeps producing top-notch social media content, he can have as long a career as he wants and he will always have my trust.