Okay, so the headline only really works if you sing it like Madonna, but I’m expecting that most of you either did or now will go back and do so.
In honor of last week being Social Media Week, I realized I needed to get back into gear and get another blog posted. It’s been a while since I last posted (that seems like a familiar theme every time I get on here) and I really don’t have much of an excuse. I’ve been busy with work and class, but I spend hours a day on social media sites. In reality, I don’t really spend hours looking at them intently, but instead skimming through for something interesting. With that being said, this is a social media site and I could have easily added this to my weekly (or at least bi-weekly) line-up of social media obsessiveness.
Enough talk about what I should have done or been doing. I’m on here now, right?
As for the headline…it’s pretty self-explanatory. The truth is, we are living in a digital world and there’s no avoiding it. I attended six different events in Chicago on Thursday that were part of over 90 events included in Social Media Week in the city. Many talked about how to integrate your business into the social media world, why you should be on Twitter even though content space is limited, or how to reach out to your local community through technology. While I was in Chicago, I wondered why Rockford didn’t have some of the things that I saw or participated in downtown. Obviously, Chicago is much larger and has built itself around neighborhoods, big businesses and most importantly – the hustle and bustle of city life that so many claim to hate, but deep down wouldn’t know what to do without.
I’ve never walked around downtown Rockford and been handed free chocolates from Ritter Sport to celebrate their 100th anniversary or gotten lost because 9 out of 10 buildings look exactly the same. I guess every city has its pros and cons. But, this post isn’t meant to be Chicago versus Rockford. It is meant to be an explanation of how and why social media and the digital industry are taking over the world! Well, not literally, but you know what I mean.
On Thursday, I was honored to meet several people already working in the social media/digital industry and even more honored to hear them speak about their experiences. As a soon-to-be college graduate, any insight into the trends and happenings of those industries is priceless information. Surprisingly, I was one of the youngest attendees at each event. I expected more college grads to be there also looking for jobs or just trying to soak up as much knowledge as possible.
Although I met many people face-to-face, I was able to “connect” with many more through social media. I have never used Twitter so much in my life, but found it to be extremely useful in networking after having attended these events. Most people think of social media sites as Facebook and Twitter (maybe Myspace if you’re living in 2002 or tumblr if you’re into that), but from a young-adult-looking-for-a-job’s perspective, sites such as LinkedIn are much more prevalent.
Unfortunately, it seems that people are becoming more and more busy and have less and less time to have a conversation with someone, but presenting everything you have to offer (from a professional standpoint) on a social media site allows potential employers to view it at their own convenience, not when you call and desperately ask to speak to the CEO about a position you would like to apply for.
Some people argue that the face-to-face interaction is crucial and the growing lack of that communication is “dumbing down” our youth. I would have to disagree completely with the latter half of that statement. While interpersonal relationships are important, when it comes to looking for a job in a digitally growing world, being able to relay your message through social media is even more essential. People want to know that you are competent and can have a strong voice both in person and through typed-words.
I’m starting to ramble, so that’s all for now. Let’s hope I post again before another two months goes by!