Monday, May 24, 2010

Using Social Media: Why Would You Not? -or- How I Taught Stevie Nicks How To Use Twitter

I find it remarkable when I am around professional people, especially people in the sales or business development realm, who do not use social media, and are even a bit hostile to the idea. It makes me ask, "What's really going on here?" I have conversations about this with a couple of associates/friends whose feelings tend to veer toward those of a Luddite, who feel infringed upon and, possibly, personally displaced. This is natural. We are still in that period when many are still processing how they define the parameters within which technology and media and modern culture, etc, may inhabit, within the greater context of their lives. I find that people rest all over the spectrum of possibilities, existentially.

For some, the extent of the interaction with social media is their daily check-up on FaceBook, including the games they happen to play. That's better than those who filled out a page on either FaceBook, Twitter, MySpace, YouTube, et al, and then never went back. I interact with the social media world to a far greater extent than most, particularly people of my age, and older. I get that. It's my job. But, it is also my passion. For others, not so much.

And yet, I wonder about the failure, by some, to get ahead of the curve and identify social media as a necessary component of professional life, a component that will become even more vital.

I made an observation when the internet was just starting out about how important it would be to become one who is "connected". To be unconnected would eventually amount to residing in a kind of third world. So now, not be plugged into social media, especially as a professional, comes across as an obstinate dismissal, as if to say, "I can't be bothered by all of that."

All the while, I'm thinking, "You're not being bothered is getting you passed by."

I guess I'll say this, as I used to say to my dad when he remarked that he did not like fried chicken, "Good! More for me."

I say all of this as someone who is among the converted. I used to pooh pooh FaceBook and Linked-In too, until I got into them. My business partner at Q7 Associates, The Right Rev. Dr. GK Rowe, experienced the same thing. Once I was into FaceBook, I kept urging him to do it, and he would condescendingly close his eyes and dismiss me, outright. "That was until I got into it, " he said, "then it was Balls to the Wall, total buy-in once I saw the possibilities."

That's what I love, the endless, intriguing possibilities. Why, just the other day, I got to teach Stevie Nicks (@RealStevieNicks) how to use twitter. How many people get to say that?

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