I’ve discovered a new malady. One that seems to cross socio-economic, age and gender lines. One that is openly discussed during meetings about social media. One that creates an instant bond with other sufferers. One that is kept under the radar during family time or socializing.
It’s called connectile dysfunction.
There are two forms. And neither is better than the other.
The first form is easily diagnosed. It’s the person who seemingly cannot detach from his/her virtual connections for any reason. You see them on the street, in restaurants and at their children’s recitals. Arrival at every venue is worth mentioning on Foursquare. No email can remain unopened because it could contain a link to…well, who knows unless you look! People who previously scoffed at gamers have become farmers and Mafia members on Facebook. They are the ones who forced human resource departments to develop social media policies so actual work gets done during work hours.
The second form is not so easily recognized. These people refuse to get connected. While this isn’t much of an issue on an individual basis it can create real problems for businesses run by affected owners and managers. Customers now expect they will find what they need and want online even if they go offline to actually buy it. Companies that refuse to meet their customers where they are will eventually go out of business even if their Yellow Pages ad is paid through the rest of the year.
I’m sure people don’t see it in themselves. If they could would they spend time online every day even Sunday?
Caught Web Handed is an article on FOXNews.com’s website detailing how law enforcement is using social media to catch criminals.
Yes some of them make it easy. Stopping on the way out of a crime spree and checking a Facebook page is oh, let’s say hmmm, moronic. Uploading video to Youtube detailing all the loot you picked up. Yeah another real brainiac.
These are frightening situations and under no circumstances am I diminishing the pain and stress these situations cause. But there are bigger fish to catch and social media is making it easier.
It’s a stretch to include email specifically as social media but it can get passed around the internet, mentioned in a Tweet or posted on a blog. Even when it isn’t viral it can be archived until the tenth of never or whenever the sender/receiver needs it.
That’s how they tracked down Faisal Shahzad the man who set the Time Square bomb scare into motion. The VIN was tracked to a teenager in Connecticut who had the car for sale on Craigslist. Mr. Shahzad emailed her and then bought the car.
I’m glad he emailed. It’s how he was caught. It’s also a stark reminder that online there are no casual conversations.
It’s become difficult to find anyone who thinks “No Child Left Behind” turned out well. We expected our kids to become proficient.
The payoff to the school was so important that subjects not on the proficiency tests were dropped from the syllabus. In at least one local high school in Toledo the physics class deleted the chapter on simple machines like pulleys, cranes and wheels. I didn’t know you could learn physics without that!
But, alas, it’s not on the test. Art and music? Why waste time on something so tangential to real learning?
Mark Edmundsen’s piece in the New York Times The Pink Floyd Night School is a reminder that we need to do other things than simply increase our facts base.
Are you learning more and more tactics for your particular niche? Are facts and figures your stock in trade? Is the information you’re sharing with clients findable elsewhere online?
By themselves these tasks are fine. But how are you adding to the knowledge base? That requires original thought. The ability to synthesize unrelated parts of the world. A tremendous amount of looking at things other than your specialty.
Pass the proficiency test and you’ll find clients who need your services. Get a reputation for creative problem solving using your technical skills and clients will find you.
A study by the University of Maryland indicates college students are seriously addicted to the internet.
I’d like to know what addiction isn’t serious but I digress.
A class of 200 students disconnected from all electronic media for 24 hours after which they blogged about their experiences. The accumulated 110,000 words were centered around “bored, distracted, dependence, difficult” among others. The infographs in the study are great visuals.
When I saw the first paragraph of the results of the study I couldn’t believe it. Are you kidding me?
Then I got down to the part that made complete sense. This wasn’t about gaming or finding a new bar or any of a million other things you can do with a phone or social media.
They said they felt disconnected from their family and friends.
Wow. I get that. It’s just that I get it from being online all the time.
Talk about your generation gap.
The five highlights in the article are amazing! They spell out the future of communication. Ignore at your own risk.
I recently was having lunch with a group of talented, experienced social media pros. We began to talk about having different personas on Twitter. Lots of people do because they may represent companies or brands as well as themselves. I have two. One I use all the time. One I use primarily for experimentation of tweets or how many followers can I get in a month – stuff I’m curious about but don’t want to necessarily use for regular engagement.
How many is too many? How and when do we switch from one to another and is it too problematic when we aren’t actually visible?
Today I was sitting at my computer being an SEO consultant. My phone rang and with one look I changed into a mother. A few minutes later the building manager came in to thank me for referring someone to her and then I was a tenant. We all have a hundred different roles we play. In the next few hours I will be a Board President, a sister, a wife, a Tweeter, a friend on Facebook and that’s just what I know about right now.
Here’s the thing. Even in all those different roles I try to have the same core persona. I’m blunt. I want the best for whomever I’m dealing with. I have a strong sense of personal ethics. I am a fanatic for learning. I may have to soften up one area or toughen up another depending on the role I’m playing but no one ever has to worry that I’m not being myself.
Can that be done online? I don’t know. If I decide to have a persona strictly for my business say @successtrafficker will I really be offering anything different than just sticking with @victoriakamm? Isn’t that the lesson we’re supposed to be taking from social media – that we are our businesses?
Too many questions and not enough answers. I’m looking forward to your opinions!