As much as social networks have given us some golden opportunities — instant access to friends worldwide, long-lost friendships renewed or finally “our say” in the world — it’s obvious everyone’s still learning how these networks fit in (or change) their lives.
Just a few months ago I was marveling about how some social media savvy folk were still so mired in “real world” data and needs. For example, the telephone number on my business card is from Google Voice. The area code (Phoenix) has nothing to do with where I now live (Wisconsin). And my cell phone area code has everything to do with where I used to live (NYC). Those two phone numbers have flummoxed some clients and prospects who either know where I live or have no need for my physical presence to do my work.
What is necessary is for me, or other consultants, is to be much more nimble in how we can travel to see our clients. Friend and colleague, Jay Baer, even moved to the Midwest so that he could simplify his travel and maintain a great lifestyle for his family. It doesn’t matter where you are — it matters how accessible you are.
Which, to me, points out that sometimes we’re focused on the wrong things in the virtual world and the real world. Sure, it’s going to take us more time to “shake out” what stays and goes of our virtual activities. But, ideally, social networking should mean we’re more present in the real world — whether traveling or home. It’s about using social networks to enhance our lives; build our friendships. It’s not about using these networks as an escape from our lives or friendships.
Kansas City Chief Quarterback Brady Quinn said it well after this weekend’s tragic murder-suicide of his teammate, Jovan Belcher. Watch his clip (he’s up second in the post-game comments): Brady Quinn. He shares a good life lesson – whether real or virtual – that we all should think about.