Wednesday, January 30, 2013

PSA: A Note To People Working on The Bleeding Edge of Social Media (or Any Industry)

Illustration of people at computers
I spent the last week and half in a virtual vigil, keeping watch via Facebook as my extended family members posted updates about another family member's declining condition and ultimate passing. When I called my Dad and my brother, I was the only one who knew. And it struck us all: how I could be the first to know among us? How my Dad could live right there, and still not be the first of the three of us to know?

It was a striking realization: how social media could change just about everything we know about staying in touch, being in the know, even circumvent the family phone tree. When something monumental happens, it's faster to reach for your phone and post it, than it is to call several people and relay the message.

Of course, I know this.
You know this.
Anyone in social media knows this.
But people who hang out on the fringes (or don't participate is social media at all) don't know this.

It was a reminder to me that there are still so many people out there for whom social media is not an active part of their lives. And those of us who work and live on the bleeding edge can forget ourselves sometimes. We can forget that we are so immersed in new technologies that we get bored of them before the majority of folks even catch onto the idea.

I'm going to say that again: those of us working on the bleeding edges of technology can get bored of it before the majority of the population even discovers it.

Do you find yourself getting bored and moving on? Do you catch yourself becoming impatient with people who "just don't get it"? It's the simple, real experiences like this one that serve to remind me us that people don't all behave in the same way that we do. There's a place for the bleeding edge, but there's also room for us to be empathetic and understanding of those who just haven't caught up yet (or who might never catch up).

The next time you encounter someone who just "doesn't get it," consider if that's whether they are truly thick or if you're so immersed in "it" that you've forgotten how far ahead you really are.

1 comment:

first50 said...

I get people who are "non-adopters" in my continuing ed classes all the time. They come to learn how to update their businesses website or make a business website. But they aren't on Facebook or Twitter and think joining would be a silly thing to do. It's a big change in mind-set.