You need social media now like you needed e-mail then

VintageSocialNetworkingI recently read one of best social media posts ever. Ironically it was about avoiding social media for a year. The article is

“I’m still here: back online after a year without the internet” (link here:

Why? Well because there are a still a few who rage against the advent of technology and especially social networking. I keep trying to explain it by always using my e-mail story. The hesitance to embrace social networking reminds me about how I was about e-mail (yes there was a time we didn’t have the Internet or e-mail, I was in University!)

When e-mail first came around, I refused to take it on. After all, I told people “Well, I’ll just visit and call people, I don’t need this e-mail to stay in touch and have my close personal friends, etc”.  When I finally did take on e-mail, probably 2 years later than most, I was already behind.

Here is why the article is relevant and fascinating! I’ve always maintained that the reason I took on e-mail begrudgingly back in 1993 was because:
1) It was very convenient (better than our tactic of “phone trees” to reschedule a big meeting)
2) It had mass appeal (penetration had hit more than 20%)
3) It was how most people were communicating and connecting about everything (Personal lives, professional, political, social, events, ideas, etc)
4) If I wasn’t on it , eventually I was out of the loop or it was harder to stay in the loop.

So when Facebook and other social media connection sites showed up, the same principles applied and I became an early adopter.

Now the challenge is that there is so much out there andso much fragmentation (including texts and mobile) of communication and connection points, so you have to pick and choose how in or out you want to be.  When I announced the birth of my son Nyal, I e-mailed everyone and shared on Facebook. When my daughter Ryah was born I only posted on Facebook and soon found out most didn’t know. The only way for me to reach everyone was to do everything.

Whether it was the Internet, E-mails, Napster, MSN messenger, Facebook, Twitter, cells, smartphones, and text messages, it ultimately comes down to how you want to connect, who you want to connect and which connections matter. But the most important question is Why. This article sums up very nicely.

The truth is, we all long for and need connection, to share our lives and engage in others lives. For now social networking is the best way for us to realize it.