I recently wrote about my first networking event last week. At that event a gentleman asked me about what I did and told him about my work and my life as a blogger. He nodded attentively and then asked what’s going to happen after the big social media craze goes away. In my mind I couldn’t help but think, “SOCIAL MEDIA IS NOT A FAD!”
Social media is changing the way we communicate and it’s now integrated in every aspect of our life.
As a proud Gen-Yer, I can say that we are quick to embrace technology even though Facebook was only around during our years in college. Just imagine at what level Generation-Z (or Net Gen, or whatever it’s called) and future generations will embrace technology.
The average age for children owning a cell phone is 8, middle school students are using Google, and are also getting on Facebook (to this Principal’s dismay). It’s clear that the generation that comes after mine will be more immersed in technology than we can even imagine.
So as I was politely nodding, wondering if this guy was a fool, he went on to elaborate. He asked what would happen to someone like me when everybody knows social media and bloggers like me aren’t so special.
This is what I told him, “It’s not just about knowing the technology - it’s about telling stories.”
I touched upon this idea back in December. While the technology of social media has increased our reach and influence, what breaks through are the same things that have always captured our attention.
For example, yesterday the Cleveland Browns signed undrafted free agent Joel Reinders after watching him on YouTube. Thanks to YouTube, he was able to promote himself all over the world despite living in Canada. The Browns saw what they see in every undrafted free agent they sign: a talented athlete with the potential to be a good player in the NFL -- they just saw it through YouTube in his case. Reinders’ video was no different than the videos hundreds of undrafted free agents would send via mail or hand to a scout or agent - in the end he was able to stick out because of his talents.
Before I went to college I spent some time working at the corporate headquarters of Avid Technology, the industry leader in professional video editing software and hardware. There I learned that the company never thought of themselves as in the software business, but in the storytelling business. It’s still emblazoned on a mouse pad I have at my house: “Avid: Tools for Storytellers.”
Anybody can learn to develop a program, but only storytellers can know what tools you need to create a film or movie.
No matter where social media will be in ten years, those are the skills that will never go out of style. If you ask me where social media will be in ten years I can’t tell you exactly how the message will be transmitted and received - but I can tell you what will make an impact will be exactly the same as what hits home right now.