I grew up in a somewhat rural community where neighbors shared a “party line.” (How social is that?) You picked up a phone that was hardwired to the wall. And if you heard your neighbor talking on the line, you would interrupt them and ask that the line be freed. The first person would usually hang up (or not, depending on what they wanted to hear). But, that was all part of being “social” and using a device (phone) to share your news. And news did travel quickly on those party lines!
In order to be social, you first have to actually socialize.
The technology and tools have changed significantly over the years and are changing more rapidly than ever before. But the reasons for using the tools have not. Being social, we want to interact today with our family or business associates, be it by phone, email, LinkedIn, Facebook or Google+.
But in order to be social, you first have to actually socialize. In business today, you may not have the opportunity to ever have a face-to-face meeting, shake hands or share a cup of coffee, but you do need to listen, respond and forge new friendships utilizing these new tools. As Scott Scratten stated in a recent “Brains on Fire” blog post, “If you don’t like people, you have no business using social media.”