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The Power

I love Social Media and the amazing connectivity it gives us to the world of relationships in our lives. There is no question that it can be overwhelming, but the consensus seems to be that it is worth mastering and creating a system to manage it. What are you doing to get a handle on the online world that is literally at your fingertips?

The Problem

Anything that is powerful can be powerfully bad or good. There are a few things that make social media something that can contribute to your insanity.

  • Which one should I use? (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, etc)
  • What should I post?
  • When and how much should I post? “To Share or Not to Share?”
  • Is Social Media for personal use only, or can I use it for my business?
  • How much time should I spend managing and monitoring my social media accounts?

For most of us “Type A’s”, we want to do everything that we do with gusto and excellence. Is that really possible with social media? I have found that I am “Johnny on the spot” with either my email or social media. To this point, I don’t really remember a time when I felt like I was doing a good job with both. Even then, I have to check on how I am doing keeping up with text messages and yes, phone calls and voice mails, too.  Then there’s VOXER, our choice for group/organization wide communication. It really is overwhelming. I want to be excellent in what I do and it seems that the number of choices makes that almost impossible. HELP!

The Solution

As one who is the youngest possible age to be included in the generation of “boomers”, I am on top of the curve with technology and my comfort with it. I love using technology and gadgets to be more productive, and this has driven me to stay fresh and current in that arena. My solution to this overwhelming situation comes from observing the Gen Y and Gen X uses of something they were born with and I had to learn. They are more accurately called the iGeneration. They have grown up never not having a cell phone, computer and the Internet. Very similar to me always having the microwave and cable TV. How are they managing something that is amazing and new to me, and that is just expected to them?

Over the holidays, and every time I spend time with my 25 year old son (Trey), he is very aware of what technology has done to people being present. How has social media possibly destroyed the thing it was designed to create? We are told that social media can connect us with all our friends on a constant (almost real time) basis. The problem is that many are now using social media as there only connection to relationships that were built on time invested of being present. Even when you are present at a meal or occasion face to face with someone you really care about, are you interrupted by another or less connected person with a virtual update or bleep of connectivity? The person in your presence feels trumped by the beep. Mass virtual connections CAN NOT replace real relationships.

The Potential

Here’s the good in all of this! Yes, your presence is required, but you need (must) expand your territory to grow and become the person God designed you to be (see the Prayer of Jabez). Your life is a treasure that is to be invested, not buried in a hole for safe keeping. Social media may be the absolute greatest tool to connect with the people that will connect you to that new territory. There are those on Facebook or other social media that you would never connect with if you didn’t have an online presence. The challenge for you is to find a way to be present with those that make that connection with you via Social Media. Yes, you can have some level of presence online, but those lives that intersect with yours (Kairos moment) must be elevated to a deeper level of presence. Connecting with someone online is very similar to swapping a business card in the “old school” world. Does that card end up in a stack on your desk, or do you make a phone call and schedule a lunch? Many friend and follower lists are no better than business cards stacked up on your desk. You’ve got their “name and number” but do you have a relationship with them? Probably not if they have never felt that you were “present” with them.

Whether personal or business, if you aren’t willing to bring the real you to the table to develop key relationships, you might be using social media as a crutch to live a virtual life. Be real.

What if the life of Jesus had been lived virtually with no sacrifice? Would we have virtual Grace? I don’t want any part of virtual Grace! I am forever grateful for the real thing.

Your presence is required to be who you were created to be, and yes it requires sacrifice! It is so worth it. Use social media to expand into new territories and relationships that take you and your business to places and heights you could never reach face to face alone. If those new places and people are worth taking from virtual to real –  BE PRESENT! Your presence IS required!

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