Why do I like Social Media: Why should you care? A Novice’s perspective.
When my kids (14 and 12 now) asked me to get a Facebook account some 2 or 3 years ago, I just scoffed at them. I could not see the value of finding these long lost “friends” that I had not talked to in years, nor could I understand why I had to go online to talk to my “friends” that I could just as easily phone. I was too busy to chase down old contacts and was too busy to “chat” with people that I had been with all day! What a waste of time!
All these kids did was chat, send silly notes or tell people what they were doing now…and now…and now…and now…
I was convinced that this was a medium that was going to make them socially challenged – or so I thought.
When work (more specifically, when our social media organizer/online guru) tried to get us excited about Twitter in early May; it was the same thing. Who cares what you are doing at this very second – even if it is only 140 characters of thought!! Honestly!
I could not get my head around what the craze was all about. I was, and still am in many ways, a very staunch supporter of talking to people one on one and actually going out with people – in a true social medium, ie: dinner, play, movie, coffee, lunch, a one on one meeting, etc…
From a business perspective, it is even more imparative to meet. I hate doing business on the phone and even worse on email. Yes, they are great screening tools in the business that I do, but I NEED to see you, or have more context as to who you are and what you might be thinking, and I just can’t see the emotion via email and I just don’t like sitting on the phone for extended periods of time. I like business the old fashioned way, very personal.
But then something changed. So what happened?
How do you go from August 2009 and prior to just having email and and ebay account (at least with this I was way ahead of the curve – member since August 1996); to February 2010 and now being on Facebook, Twitter, Linked In, Four Square, Flickr, Skype, and YouTube. Writing my own blog, maintaining 2 Facebook group pages, owning 6 domain names, owing and iPhone (actually being able to pick apps without the kids help) and using and managing 4 active email accounts; and all in just 6 months and at the ripe old age 43 (almost 44)?!?
And again, why should you care?
If you are locals like Miss 604 or John Chow, Mashable , The Gap, Pepsi etc…maybe you don’t care. You had this figured out and you went with it a while ago. You were ahead of the curve. You saw what I see now, a unique opportunity as you are watching society change very quickly right in front of your eyes!
If you are like, what I “was” 6 months ago, you could be the one that could be motivated to get more excited about these “new’ish” mediums that are really and truly; old ways of doing business and socializing with just new and really kool tools! You may see what I saw 6 months ago and embrace it like I have. You may just see the light as it were (I know – my ego is getting the best of me)
I guess that was what the kicker was for me. Whether it was Facebook or Twitter, or any of the other platforms that people use to communicate today, they started to remind me of what business and socializing was like 25 years ago;
It was about making true connections.
It was about networking.
It was about being honest and transparent.
It was about being authentic.
It was about dropping in unexpected into someone’s home or office and being welcomed.
It was about making sure that you presented yourself as you were .
It was about expressing your ideas and values to as many that would listen while still respecting others opinions.
It was about sharing and giving of yourself.
Today’s social media encompasses all of these attributes that people loved about the “old ways of doing things”.
Today’s tools just make it so much easier to perform all of the above – without having to travel the world! You can “pop” in on friends quickly and easily and you are actually welcomed. You can network like never before. And best of all, if you are not honest and not authentic, you will not be able to succeed for as long as you may have in the “old days”.
I have not had this much fun in my work or my social life in years. I am making more connections and faster than I would have ever been able to do even just 6 months ago. I am looking at the world in a completely different way and I can see how small it really is and yet how massive the opportunities are!!
Do I suggest that you go crazy and sign up for all of the things that I have; of course not. Do what is comfortable. My personality makes me go full tilt when I catch on to something I really enjoy. Yours will be different, maybe… What I think is crucial is that you do start to try some of the “new’ish” mediums to communicate. I think you will be thrilled and hopefully have as much fun as I have had!!
Good Luck and Enjoy.
Most importantly – SHARE YOUR EXPERIENCES!!