Facebook is not the real world.
Some may disagree with that assertion and many are so addicted to the site, they are in denial about the possibility of it being true. Personally, I am determined, even in the “Social Media” age, to lead a full social and business life that isn’t dependent on my Internet connection.
I have uncles, aunts, cousins, nieces and nephews I haven’t seen in at least a year. Most of us live in the same metropolitan area, so I won’t be passing up opportunities to see them to chat with a so-called “Facebook Family”.
As I near a half-decade of social existence, my circle of actual friends has been pared down to a faithful few. The associate and acquaintance count has significantly diminished also. Opportunities to visit with them are too rare to spend an inordinate amount of time interacting with “Facebook Friends”.
I don’t have a real farm, but do live on a little acreage, I have never “farmed” on Facebook, but don’t think I would find it nearly as rewarding as getting outdoors and doing some real gardening. I’ve always been fascinated by tales of organized crime. But my idea of fun tilts more toward heading out to the garage and working on a gangster-looking early 40s street rod, than battling Mafioso on my computer. I’m not knocking anyone’s pastimes…heck many find mine downright boring…I’m just extolling the virtues of getting away from that computer screen for some fresh air.
I’m blessed to lead a relatively quiet life with plenty of spiritual fullness, fun, true friendships and a magnificent woman with which to share it all. But even before Social Media and owning a “smart phone”, I had no desire to write my beliefs, passing thoughts, hopes, disappointments, etc. on a public “wall”. I studied “Radio/TV” in college, nearly 30 years ago.
My first career jobs were at TV stations. But I really never thought of “broadcasting” my life to strangers, associates and acquaintances. But maybe all that is generational. My generation’s impressionable years were before all these so-called “reality shows”. Please see my thoughts on the “People Are Sheep” post. Many of my 500+ Facebook connections are friends, associates and acquaintances. I try to limit connections to only those folks I truly know. I figure about two thirds of my Facebook connections would recognize my voice (which isn’t particularly distinctive) if I called them on the phone and didn’t immediately identify myself. They include childhood pals, high school and college classmates, former co-workers and others. I have been in communications/advertising/marketing over half my life.
I have seen a few trends, innovations and evolutions in the field. Maybe that’s why I’m not all atwitter (pun intended) about Social Media. Though no expert, I do indeed grasp the concept, scope and impact of the Social Media phenomenon. We have Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, YouTube and LinkedIn accounts, and of course, this blog. I realize that to be successful in most any kind of business, one must have a certain Social Media presence. I see the growing number of business “Like” pages. I wish we had more “Likers” on our FB page. But, I am of the mind that you still can’t beat old-fashioned, face-to-face communications (with the old standby phone calls running a close second).
Aren’t the aforementioned SM tools just very convenient mediums for reaching others worldwide? To me, when the rubber meets the road, it’s still about effective communication. Poor communication is just as ineffective digitally as via any other medium…maybe even more so. Who wouldn’t be impressed by a long-distance communications method for almost instantaneously sending and receiving short messages? The message-length limitations even spawned a creative code system for abbreviated words and phrases. Twitter? No, Samuel Morse’s Electric Telegraph and Morse Code language from the 1840s. Okay techheads, I understand the advancements in wireless technology and handheld devices. But, we’re talking basic communications, here.
For best conveying a message, telegraph, telephone, two-way radio, email, smart phones and even video teleconferencing will never replace the emotion, voice inflection, eye movement and even the sincerity of a handshake (which, being a bit mysophobic, I believe should be universally replaced by fist bumps, “wrist shakes” or even “man hugs”). I also grasp the concept of convenience and practicality. Poking at that little screen on my iPhone to tell a potential new client “Lets meet to do biz” may be more convenient than fewer strokes to dial the number, exchanging pleasantries with the receptionist and saying “Hi, this is D.J. When’s the best time for us to come by, listen to your plans and discuss how we can help make them happen and earn your business?” But the latter is just ”me”. Those are the kind of clients I want most to deal with.
That’s why I have implemented what I call my “Exit Strategy From Advertising for a Living.” God be willing, approximately two years from now, my current vocation will be the hobby that helps grow my new career. This new path will find me on the road, providing a tangible product to like-minded customers who will expect to meet me, exchange that fist bump and buy the great, unique product I’ll be peddling. The venture will involve social media, e-commerce fulfillment and wireless/digital technology. But meeting me and getting to know my character will be the key element in the business relationships. If you’re curious about that venture, I’ll be glad to tell you more. Email me, text me or send me a Twitter or Facebook message. Better still, call me at 817.238.3807. I look forward to speaking with you.