Stop Slamming Social Media Without Trying to Understand It

This post originally ran in April of 2010 before I was a part of Project Social. While it was read by very few, it was a turning point post for me to discover my voice as a social media advocate in the online HR space. My Project Social partners Dave and Laura are also pulling up some archive posts. So let’s look back and see what they had to say, especially if you missed it the first time! Thanks for reading.

Get Me off of Facebook.

What is it with everyone slamming social media these days? I was driving from a customer meeting to our warehouse Friday and decided to check in on my parents. A bad habit I have, checking in with them while driving. But, I am stealing a moment of quiet where interruptions are less possible via blue tooth. Some of you know my Dad is battling cancer. He is surviving it and doing well though treatments will continue indefinitely. I check in often. He answers the phone. “Lyn, how do I get off of Facebook? I swear I did not sign up for an account. But, I keep getting email when people post on my wall or whatever it is.” He goes on and on about how he will look at pictures but, he has no interest in being on Facebook because he ‘does not want his identity stolen.’

Huh?

There is no convincing my Dad. Facebook is bad. He wants me to come over this weekend and take him off. I’m so tired of the fear mongering about social media. Fear is based in uneducated, uninformed knowledge. To quote Geek Dad and Wired Magazine about fear in social media: “What information, on a personal level, are you required to share? That’s actually a very simple answer, one that seems to elude many. None. You are required to share nothing. “

I spoke at the Southern States Communication Association this week about social media and was shocked at the real lack of interest. This surprised me since the majority of the members are mass comm. professionals and educators. Have we forgotten how to study and embrace the new and innovative? Where is the innovation people? I will say in defense of my panel and smattering of attendees, the roundtable was full of engaging discussion with people who were passionate or who wanted to understand SM, specifically twitter.

I Just Don’t Communicate That Way.

There will be some people who will never adopt social media. It is not a choice based on fear. It is personality based. My husband chooses not to do social media. He says, “I just don’t communicate that way.” I get that and respect it. He respects my need to create. And part of creating for me is creating content. There will be content creators and content absorbers. Not everyone is wired to put information out there. Not everyone is into sharing business or personal details. I thrive on the collaborative nature of social media. It is a good fit for me as a marketer, promoter and active learner. But, for some it will never be a part of what they do. So be sure to create content they want to absorb.

We’ll Get There Someday.

These days I compare the slow adoption of social media in business to a similar pattern in the adoption of ecommerce. In 2000 I was part of the dot.com crash. Laid off after riding high on stock options and the Internet gold rush, I saw the visionaries of online shopping sites miss calculated the fact that there we just not enough people shopping online to support their big ideas. And egos were convinced if they built it people would come. It just did not work that way. 10 years later we are now seeing the fruit in online shopping and success can be had with sound strategy. But, it is not quick.

So we move slowly with the masses. We advocate, educate and set the example for how social media can be used personally and professionally. It is not a fad. Apps can be a fad. Social Spaces can be a fad. Being social as a human behavior is here to stay and by jumping in to understand the applications online now you will be more prepared for how we will be collaborating tomorrow. Join a social media site today and experiment, innovate and educate. Some people call it cutting edge. Others call it research. I call it necessary to stay ahead.

2012 – Dad update, my father continues to battle metastatic cancer. He is doing amazingly well, responding to maintenance treatments and is still not on Facebook.

Read More Wired Magazine Article

Southern States Communication Association

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