Is having a social media presence in all its guises a pre-requisite for living a full life I ask myself? Having been mostly “off – air” for almost a year I’ve spent this time reflecting not only on my own situation but on the wider world where the future is coming a lot faster than we expect.
I’ve participated for almost a decade in the world of Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. Writing my first blog post in March 2009 and learning all about communicating using this medium was a whole new world for me. Thankfully, the BBC (my former employers) provided lots of useful support on how to get started. I got involved as I needed to communicate across boundaries with a diverse workforce.
Back then I had responsibility for a large team of over 2,000 people most of whom didn’t work directly for the BBC! What’s with firewalls and other challenges I needed to find an accessible and efficient conduit to share news about the change journey we were embarking on.
It enabled me to learn the ropes of writing regular blog posts for spaces and places. Looking back through this journal it prompted warm memories of how the team helped the BBC complete the change from analogue to digital.
Having moved on from the BBC a few years ago it seemed pretty normal to continue blogging obviously with a different emphasis. I wanted to explore topics that might be interesting concerning the smart use spaces and places.
In the spring of 2017 I decided to take a break from all social media as an experiment. One reason was I felt tweeting, blogging and subscribing to lots of feeds was draining.
Also, it enabled me to step back and consider the purpose of our efforts to communicate, collaborate and confer with other humans. It did cause me to ponder if most folk now see social media as an opportunity to promote services and for marketing? No bad thing in itself but have we over egged the cake? I can’t help feeling that there’s a lot of material in circulation which is not worth reading. Maybe I’m wrong?
With the ability to stand back and build some fresh perspective of the last year I’ve concluded that despite all its shortcomings social media is a useful mechanism. During this period I spent time trying out collaborative tools such as Slack, Trello, Yammer and MS Teams all of which have their merits. However, at the end of the day it boils down to the individuals who use these tools and the quality of the dialogue – so a purely personal thing then?