Tonight, I’m heading into town for a few drinks with a top bunch of people. ‘Nothing noteworthy about that’ I hear you cry, through the metaphorical void of cyberspace. You’d be right. Up and down Blighty’s shores, gaggles of people are venturing out to meet up with friends for a traditional Christmas drink or two. Or three… So why is my excursion any different?
Two words: social media.
Although still relatively recent, gone are the days when ‘online relationships’ consisted of serial loners conversing in chat rooms, avatars depicting mythical creatures that were as far-fetched as their chances of getting laid.
It’s 2010 and social media has exploded, transforming ‘online relationships’ into a phrase loaded with fantastic potential rather than connoting farcical voyeurism. Social media is a facilitator; a tool that allows people to connect, build relationships, share.
And tonight, the band of merry men (or should I be PC and say ‘people’ – they are HR folk after all…) I’m meeting are all people with whom I converse on Twitter. I have met everyone before at various #ConnectingHR events, but the relationships started – and have since continued – through the social media space.
Yes, some of the chat will revolve around work, I’m sure – although I have no doubt this will give way to more gibberish nonsense as the drinks flow! But the fact remains – not that I’ve ever tried to ‘get anything out’ of these relationships (that would defeat the true purpose of being ‘social’), but I’m connected to several people professionally on LinkedIn, email, Twitter and Facebook as a direct result of building these relationships.
The point I’m trying to make?
I meet so many social sceptics who moan that ‘Twitter is simply a place to tell people what you ate for breakfast’.
Just because you receive spam emails about Viagra pills, does that mean email as a concept is ineffective and doesn’t have a place in daily life? Of course not – and the same is true for Twitter and social media.
So, I beg all you sceptics; learn from my experiences. The #ConnectingHR folk I’m meeting tonight have genuinely enriched my life and over the past 12 months and also helped me out professionally on more than one occasion.
Still a sceptic? You shouldn’t be.
Want to find out what I had for breakfast this morning, follow me on Twitter!