It’s a brave new media world

I’ve always been a bit late to the technology party. I got email as soon as AOL offered it, back in the 14.4 kbps modem days, but ever since, I’ve kind of been dragging my feet.

I realized I was losing my place in the world of professional communication without technical skills back in 2002, so I went to graduate school and got myself some. I learned the basics of web design, among other things, and thought I would be set for awhile. But just as I finished my master’s, the social media wave was rising as Facebook launched. I remember reading a short blurb about it in Newsweek at the time, when it was available only to Harvard students, and wishing it were available to people like me at little state colleges far out west because it sounded kind of fun. (Of course, that was when it was brand new and entirely innocent.)

Nevertheless, I resisted joining Facebook until last year, and only this week took the plunge into Pinterest (I think I’ve pinned four or five things so far). I missed the MySpace craze altogether, I am completely befuddled by Twitter, and I have no use for Google+. I have been on LinkedIn for a few years, but I don’t do much with it. So of the top 15 social networking sites, I lightly use only two, and can’t imagine where I’d ever fit the rest into my day or how they would add value to my life.

From a personal perspective, this is probably neither here nor there. But as a communications professional, I have to understand how technology affects how people connect with one another as private individuals as well as how they connect with businesses as customers and consumers. So I’m studying the social business model to get a better idea of where we are now as well as what’s ahead.

For the time being, I am keeping my own interaction with social media manageable. I don’t have a smart phone, just a dumb one that handles only voice calls and texts, so that helps keep me from becoming a 24/7 media devotee. This is good, because I never want to get to the point that I can’t even go to the bathroom without my phone for fear of missing some vital bit of communication. When I start to feel that my life hasn’t actually happened until I’ve posted the pics on Facebook or blogged about it, though, maybe I’ll have to step away.

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