Even the least tech savvy person is familiar with social media in one way or another. When I started to blog a year ago, I was just learning how Facebook worked and had only tweeted a couple of times. MySpace was ‘in’ but I never got into it. YouTube videos didn’t go viral and social media apps were obscure. No one shared pictures the way the do on Flickr or Picasa. Business cards were handed out, not LinkedIn links or Twitter handles.
Man, I feel old and very nerdy.
Things have changed so much. I can now connect with friends and family all over the world with a few clicks. When it was based on email, communication was far and few between. Now, even with limited bandwidth and internet knowledge, people can instantly share photos and status updates. When we went to Disney World, for example, my family back in California and in the Netherlands could get a day-by-day update on what we did and what we saw. I can also chat with friends while we recommend funny videos and compare local restaurants/activities.
On the blogging side of it, I now have a monstrous online community that actually comments back when I talk about my dog passing gas. Basically, it’s not possible to have a decent blog without the heavy use of social media. A few years ago, how successful could a company be if they never used a phone or spoke to their customers? It’s the same, but now the preferred communication is digital.
Saving has also hit a new level for me. Many brands are now doing Facebook-only promotions and having contests through Twitter using specific hashtags. Social media is how I find out about these great deals and pass them on to you.
I do need to be more discerning in how I use these tools and when. That’s what they are to me, tools. I don’t go looking for new life-long buddies nor do I expose 100% off my personal life online. Yet, at this point, this is the new way of networking. Emailing or calling on the phone is only a last resort, or if you can’t write it in 140 words or less (Twitter).