Facebook, LinkedIn, blogging, Twitter, texting (and whatever else is invented from the time I post this item), in general has always had the effect on me of wanting to lie down till the technology goes away. Sometime I feel so inept, especially when I see infants in strollers' texting their mom to stop at the next coffee shop, or a little old lady on her blackberry friending people from the lawn bowling society in Norway. Can IM with aliens be far behind?
I know I know, it is a valuable tool, for marketing companies, business promotion, staying in touch with friends, family and whatever else can be sold as a case for its use, but I must admit, it leaves me feeling like a deer in the headlights. I am always being invited to join groups and be "friended". People pester me about blogging more frequently and when, oh when, will I start tweeting. Truth is, I'm working on it.
Some might think I'm anti-social because I haven't responded to many invites, or have the usual repertoire of electronic social avenues. It's certainly not the case at all. I do love to socialize, just more with face to face and phone calls, although lately video phone calls and instant messaging have crept in. I am progressing it would seem without realizing it.
Something else which I find halts my cyber social integration is rooted on available time. I'm sooo busy with regular business, phone calls, emails and day to day demands, that the thought of opening up to a potential avalanche of new contacts to stay up to date and in the loop with everyone else is kind of frightening and exhausting.
When I think of the sheer number of students I have taught, customers, colleagues, suppliers and other business associates over the last twenty years or so, it is in the thousands. I even hesitate to send out emails to tell everyone about monthly specials or announcements because I'm afraid of the volume that comes back. Silly, I know, but I pride myself with getting back to everyone in a reasonable amount of time which could prove to be more difficult with expanded numbers. It's like I need a social media manager to hold my hand and support me through this.
I don't want to sound ungrateful. In fact it is quite the opposite. I feel very fortunate to have such a well established list of contacts due to years of business and that the invites are constant. Much of my long term business is built on personal contact and interaction with students, customers and suppliers. The same holds true for my friends. Some have been in my life since we were in kindergarten, with many others going back two to three decades. We have as much regular personal contact as we can because we all feel it is something that provides us with community and strength. I don't ever want that to be lost with technology; however I also recognize the upside of staying in contact with those who are too far away for the personal touch.
If I am to become more of a social junkie, I promise to do my best to keep content interesting, useful and relevant. Therefore I won't be tweeting about the excitement of purchasing a left handed hair brush or blogging some story about an annoying Koala bear with personal hygiene issues in line ahead of me at the bank.
So here is fair warning, since I wouldn't want anyone to go into shock, faint or think that I hit my head on a flat screen TV. If I start to respond to your requests or begin informing you of events in life and business, it is for real. Your patience is appreciated... and hopefully we'll get through this together.
BTW, I am having a new website designed which will accommodate an online store and web casting courses.
Yes, you read that correctly, WEB CASTING. Stay tuned.