Anti-Social… Digitally Speaking
When I joined the team here at Stephen Arnold Music Company on August 1, I had no idea how drastically my life would change. I consider myself to be a pretty current, connected, and plugged in person. It was a rude awakening to discover just how un-plugged I really am. My work life is spent checking email, the digital Calendar, the digital sales database, the digital contract database, ordering online, creating spreadsheets and reports, doing internet research, and so on. I love my job, but at the end of the day, the LAST place I want to be is on a computer.
At a recent staff meeting, I found out how really “un-plugged” I am! I don’t Facebook or Twitter or My Space, I’m not LinkedIn, and to be honest, I’m not sure that I want to be! Imagine my dismay when the conversation turned to viral marketing. Viral marketing?! Surely I wasn’t expected to participate in that, was I?
As it turns out, not only am I expected to participate, but I’m actually supposed to enjoy it! The first step in my social initiation: the Stephen Arnold Music blog. The what? I don’t blog! Who cares what I ate for breakfast or what time I went to lunch? This was all too much. I decided to conduct a little research to see just how many of my friends, family, and acquaintances participated in this social networking craziness.
To my surprise, I did not find a single person that was NOT on Facebook or at least LinkedIn. LinkedIn to what?! Although no one I know admitted to Twittering (tweeting?), there were a few My Spacers. My mother-in-law, a former computer abstainer, is on Facebook daily, doing who knows what. Even my brother is now LinkedIn and advised me that I would love it. My sister-in-law, the only hold-out that I was CERTAIN would be with me, sheepishly admitted that a short time ago she joined Facebook in order to stay in touch with my niece, who’s away at college. What did this all mean for me?
Until now, I always believed that social networking was inherently anti-social. If I want to stay in touch or reach out to a friend, I pick up the phone. I’ll email and even text if I have to, but I prefer good old-fashioned conversation, that unwritten exchange of ideas and words that makes life oh so interesting. Besides, if I’m not talking to someone already, it’s usually because I don’t want to be. Are all of those “friends” on your Facebook really friends? Or are they just other people looking for something to do.
I already have plenty to do, and I can’t imagine spending even one minute more on the computer than I already do each day. I have always followed my heart, and not the trends, so I will continue to hold out as long as I can. Word on the street is that after I finish this blog entry, I will be called upon to tow the company line and become LinkedIn. I’ll let you know how that works out for me.
In the meantime, I have found the one person in this digital world who agrees with me. In the October 12, 2009 issue of US Weekly (yes, I do read trashy entertainment magazines, trendy as they are), when asked about social networking Web sites, George Clooney responded: “I would rather have a prostate exam on live television by a guy with very cold hands than have a Facebook page.” Enough said.