I may be the only person up to this point to not have a Facebook page or a Twitter account. It's not that I don't support either. In fact, I encourage our sales team to utilize social media. I'm on LinkedIn and have found the groups I interact with to be extremely informative. So, why have I resisted diving into others? Part of it is my commitment to communication or, in some cases, the lack thereof. My biggest concern was not being able to keep up. I have personal and business e-mails, texts, and voicemails. I wonder if I would be able to keep up with it all if I added a Facebook and Twitter to the mix. While it's all pushed to one device, I still have to respond to everything.
My second and greatest concern is the lack of personal communication. I labeled one of the chapters in my book "Put Down the Blackberry Before You Dot Another 'I' Bob Cratchett" for a reason. I believe electronic communication has altered the way we communicate, and while there are many advantages, I am concerned with the smart phone replacing face to face contact. My co-author and I went around multiple times during this chapter. Why? He's in his early twenties and has grown up in an electronic computer world. I believe an e-mail or text saying "I can't make our breakfast meeting" is great compared to the call when you are five minutes from the restaurant. It's terrific to send an e-mail at 11:00 pm, without the worry of waking someone up, and have the person shoot back a response when they see it. However, I am a firm believer that nothing replaces face to face meetings or phone contact when possible. Call me old fashion, but I believe you build a better, stronger relationship when communicating in person.
I'm not resistant to change. In fact, I had a mobile phone when they were still attached to the car. It was the size of a house phone, and it cost about $500 a month in minutes, and something we called roaming. What concerns me about becoming more social is watching everybody becoming less social. Sometimes I am watching a game, my kids and I are all on our laptops. I'm working. They're socializing with their friends on both their laptops and phones. I remember a day when you watched a game and talked about what just happened, not texting or tweeting about it. One of the guys on my sales team said, "Tim, my kids are watching what their fantasy team is doing while watching a game." I'm no better. I receive an e-mail during lunch, while in the field, and I answer it. The person I'm traveling with is doing the same thing.
I'm not alone in my concern. I hear from people all the time about how they are concerned with our next generation, their relationships, and lack of personal contact. I believe that electronic communication can be misinterpreted as easier than a call or in person conversation. Today people break up in text messages, but let's face it , back in the day people sent a break up letter.
Are we different, more advanced, too advanced, too connected, or not connected enough? I can't answer that question, but I'm diving in to find out. Friend me, follow me, I will follow you and maybe we will find out some answers together on how to remain "social" in the world of social media.