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Tag: Social Media

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Miss Me Yet?? No, Not Really…

Miss Me Yet?? No, Not Really…

Back in February, I decided to close or curtail the use of a significant number of my social media accounts. At the time, this radical action included the likes of Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, blogs, discussion forums, and general new sites. The first week was troubling as I felt a nagging sensation that I was being delinquent by not looking or logging into these platforms. For Twitter and Instagram, I did not have much of a choice as I closed my account. I also closed my tumbler account and unfollowed nearly all, if not all, WordPress blogs. There was a distinct feeling of loss as if my favorite security blanket went missing. I finally understood Linus.

After a month, the feelings of neglect and loss are all but dissipated. There is no sensation of obligation or failing to meet other people’s expectations regarding my involvement. There is a surprising upside to the amount of free time that has been created. It is a lot easier to find time to work out and see friends when you do not have as many digital obligations. This is not to say that I am some overgrown child that lives in their mom’s basement. We all have a lot of things competing for our time and attention and this is a surprisingly easy group of items to cut out to allows us to spend time more meaningfully with those that actually matter.

Just doing my part to keep my life a little simpler…

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Stepping Away from the Digital Life

Stepping Away from the Digital Life

Keeping up with everything is a full-time job. It adds stress and anxiety inappropriately to our lives. Periodically, I have to step away and look at how I manage our digital life. Simplification is needed to save our sanity, relationships, and give us the freedom to focus on what matters. The goal is to focus on the content that is critical to my life and career. Social media has been pared back to the interaction channels that allow me to connect with those people whom I care the most about and not the ones that provide the maximum voice. I have generated a surprising amount of free time and feel less obligated to maintain these digital connections. It is funny and a little sad that my stress level is lower as I reduce more of my digital life. The freed time is spent interacting and socializing with friends and family.

I realize that a meaningful engagement with one person brings more good to the world than superficial interactions with a thousand.

  • Twitter account: closed.
  • Instagram account: closed.
  • Facebook account: on a serious diet
  • LinkedIn account: maintaining a profile but no longer as active on news, commenting, and discussion groups
  • WordPress/tumbler: cut way back on the number of blogs I follow, comments on, and engage.
  • News websites: avoiding
  • Industry websites: following only two

I am not saying that I am jumping off of the grid or that social media is a waste of time. I want to focus on the parts of the social network that add value to my life and others. Moreover, I want real value and not just the illusory experience of superficial social interactions. I may add some of these accounts back over time but will focus on deeper and more personal interactions versus increased reach and share the voice.

Setting the Agenda and Leading the Conversation

Setting the Agenda and Leading the Conversation

Corporations and their management teams can lead and their respective market segments, but they can also lead in other areas such as industry trade groups and engaging in conversation with their customers and peers. For a long time, I have believed that the leadership team of an organization should engage in social media and Actively Participate in industry conferences in order to help set the agenda, lead the conversation regarding their industries, and help set best practices.

Companies and their leadership teams must go beyond social media and join the speaking/roundtable circuit. They will help define the very markets, shape regulation and best practice, build the company’s reputation, and highlight their strategic thinking. It is not easy to go down the path of active engagement in social media and/or speaking due to the time commitment involved. Certainly, this is compounded when most corporate social media is focused on the purposes of marketing the company’s products or services to a particular audience with the intention to move consumers along the purchase continuum. While a corporate approach (the corporation itself and not the products/services) to social media marketing is targeted to an audience, it is not typically the same audience that purchases the company’s products and services.

By engaging in conversation around industry norms and best practices, management can demonstrate high levels of leadership that enhance the company’s reputation while building individual members of the management teams personal brands. Not only does a company benefit in building its reputation and brand through peer and industry recognition, the individuals involved in the process benefit through the increased industry exposure.

It takes time and effort to engage in this level of social media and personal speaking activity. It builds the corporate brand and demonstrates industry leadership within a given market. It can act as a recruitment vehicle, tell the corporate story through the eyes of an individual, and humanize the entity. The benefits far outweigh the cost and time it takes to create, develop, and maintain a social media presence and engage in industry trade activity.

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Continuing on…The Internet Never Forgets

Continuing on…The Internet Never Forgets

The other day I was ranting about privacy in the digital age. The public does not fully comprehend the potential positive or negative impact of cloud services on their lives; how the information they choose to share and store inside of those systems lives and dies; or how a data breach will affect their personal privacy. However, that is only part of the equation since it deals with a failure inside of one of these commercial entities. And let’s be honest about the situation here; these entities rarely screw up so the breach is usually in the form on an outside attack against them. Frankly, with how few breaches occur each year, I see it as a testament to their dedication and professionalism in treating their customers’ information with respect and a security-focused mindset.

More often than not, we do it to ourselves. We expose our own information to public scrutiny without hackers or bugs in the code. We breach our privacy by posting “dumb” things online. Usually in an agitated state, or inebriated one, but rarely with a clear mindset. It is so easy with modern smartphone technology and computers/tablets everywhere to post any and every thought online in a mere moment. Much like the words we speak, something posted online can never be really retracted.

Having an argument with a family member, friend, or coworker? Seriously think about the consequences before you lash out in a quick twitter or Facebook post. In a lapse of good judgment, let us say you do actually post something that is highly critical of a coworker, management, the company, or releases confidential information, what should the company do about it? Is it unreasonable to expect serious disciplinary action?

It is no secret that employers will check on-line profiles of potential candidates, and it is not uncommon for them to complete other reviews on a periodic basis and around promotions to make sure, employees are living up to all company guidelines and expectations. Do you really want to promote someone who does not represent the values of the organization with their highly questionable digital activity? Yes, people will invariably say that personal life and professional life are distinct and should not affect each other. I think that is a Utopian view that is not reality, and everyone should presume that their bosses are reading most of their on-line social media communications. No, I do not think that management is reading employees’ Twitter and Facebook feeds regularly. Who has the time? But would you really want to risk your next promotion on it? This is an area that some serious common sense needs to be exercised by everyone.

People need to present their public social media life in the way they would like their managers to see and experience it. Remember by lashing out in a discourteous/unprofessional manner at people or topics on-line, they may be hurting their career to a far greater degree than they even begin to realize.