I will start by saying that I’m not anti-social media, either personally or in business, however it is certainly not the be-all and end-all of my world. In fact, people at my church will think I’m really pro-social media as I’m currently pushing to have a church Facebook page. The reality is, this is where people are and if the church is to be relevant we need to meet people where they are and not expect them to come to us … but that’s a whole different conversation.
I heard an interesting discussion on the radio a few weeks ago. There was a lady advocating social media, but she made the point that in this virtual world, people do need a real place to go.
I was having a conversation with my mum just last week about the fact that I hardly ever phone anyone any more. There’s a misconceived assumption that we’re in touch and up-to-date because we see Facebook posts and if I do communicate with my real friends (as opposed to the ‘friends’ on Facebook that I hardly even know) it’s mostly via text.
The reason I bring up these points is that I saw a video last night (ironically, via Facebook) about the fact that whilst we all have hundreds of ‘friends’ on Facebook and are constantly in communication with them, we are becoming less social as we all become buried in our phones and tablets, sat on our own. The video is worth a watch if you’ve got 5 minutes for a poignant reality check … Look Up by Gary Turk.
And I think that the message for our business is that whilst social media has a role to play, we must not forget the value of meeting people and looking them in the eye, that’s really when the relationships are cemented. And if you can’t meet someone because of distance, a phone conversation is much more personal than an electronic conversation (whether by email or social media platforms). I am guilty of finding it much easier to email rather than pick up the phone. It’s something I’ll have to think about. What about you?