How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Social Media
Hello everyone. My name is Jane…and I’m a late adopter. Yes, it’s true. I’m ashamed to admit this, but until last year I still had…a flip phone. It feels good to finally tell someone.
The truth is that I’ve always been late to the party. Cell phones, Facebook, Linked In- I boarded the bus late on all of these. Believe it or not, I may have been the only person on Earth in 2002 that somehow still didn’t know that Haley Joel Osment could see dead people.
Twitter reeled me in slowly- first with being able to read nearly real-time global news and current events, and then with the revelation that there were thousands of people out there, talking with each other…about HR! People like me. People whose parents, friends and spouses were probably sick of hearing them talk about Human Resources, just like mine were; whose roommates, colleagues and neighbours could barely muster the most cursory of nods and ‘mm hmms’ as we explained the latest big shake-up in the HR Technology world, or that new peer recognition program that we were launching, or let loose our latest rant about functional resumes or that lame, perfunctory “team-building” session.
These were my people.
At first it was overwhelming. I participated in a few Twitter chats and found myself slack-jawed as the the twitter stream spun by. How could these people possibly type that fast? I couldn’t even think that fast. But slowly I came to accept the speed and volume that it part of immersing yourself in the twitterverse. I let it wash over me, and I began to love it. People’s voices, even in 140 characters, became familiar, recognizable. I had the good fortune to meet some of the people I had ‘met’ on Twitter in real life. I attended conferences, and took courses with their own dedicated hashtags, creating a channel to communicate with people all over my city, country and in some cases the globe. Twitter chats are a regular part of my week (in particular #tchat, #HRtechchat,and #lrnchat), and have led to interactions with some accomplished and brilliant people.
Today, the majority of the written content I consume about HR I find via Twitter. Blogs, articles, comments both insightful and snarky…I love all of these things. And as I type this, I’m charging my iPad and jotting down directions to go to Impact 99 tomorrow- a conference about social media in the workplace. It’s a good moment to reflect back on how much my engagement in and enjoyment of social media has grown in the last year. If I could tell my flip-phone toting self where I’d find myself a short 12 months later, I’d be almost as shocked as when I found out that Bruce Willis was dead for that whole movie!
I look forward to sharing some of the great insights and fabulous ideas that I am sure will come out of Impact 99…for late and early adopters alike.