Yeah, you know it. Social media has officially taken over what used to be our primary forms of communication.
Is this a bad thing that we are now conversing in the clouds rather than over the telephone or at an ever further stretch … face to face?
No, I personally don’t think so. However, we need to be careful.
I will admit that I am “in the clouds” with all of my best friends and family. I speak to my better half in London using Skype and Viber, and the same goes with my best mate in Singapore. If either of them post photos to Facebook, I “like” them, “comment” on them, or “share” them. These phrases are truly becoming part of our native language, much to the liking of some of the world’s youngest billionaires.
While I do enjoy the time I have speaking to close ones overseas I do realise this form of communication can only last for so long with a particular person before the mind needs something physical. A holiday – you there or they back – will always be better than a “data cloud” phone call.
Please don’t take the above as a sign of my weakness or me complaining. I’m not – straight out. What I do worry about though is people becoming entirely dependent on these forms of technology as “the world gets smaller” with work commitments.
Staying now on the topic of work – I recently had a Skype conversation with a prominent figure in the UK who I asked, “Do you use this (Skype) a lot?” He stared into the little camera above his screen and said, without hesitation: “Everyday!”
For this man, will this be an acceptable form of communication moving forward professionally?
However, will this be something that leaks into our social lives and ends up really distancing people when the whole idea is to bring us closer together?
The fact that it’s so easy to send a message through WhatsApp and Facebook is a good thing at first glance. However, I must admit, nothing is better than getting a physical card, present, postcard, etc, to really know that that person is truly thinking of you. Something about the time it takes to personalise these things makes them more powerful than words on a screen.
While I’m an avid social media fan and think that nowadays it’s absolutely crucial to almost all business success, I do believe more than anything that our professional feelings and our personal feelings closely relate. People work with people.
People sell to people. Therefore, I encourage in business to stop and think about the things that you personally would appreciate if you were on the receiving end before your next “tweet” or “comment”.
It might be travelling for two days to see someone you love, or seeing someone that you are about to make a long-standing business deal with. I’m sure the one you love appreciates it so much and is very happy to see you. I’m almost surer that the little bit of extra effort you put in professionally with relationships would be appreciated to the same degree.
So while I’m an avid fan of social media, I always remember that it is slowly/quickly (whichever way you want to look at it) taking over both our personal and professional forms of communication. I’m not going to delete my Facebook account anytime soon (probably never) but it sure makes me look even more forward to a special trip I have planned at Christmas.
Should you have any questions in relation to the above article or need advice on communication with clients effectively and efficiently please do not hesitate to connect with me in the clouds via LinkedIn or Twitter. If you want to see how you can use old school marketing communications to your advantage please visit my website – www.cloudbasemedia.com.au.