I’ve been battling a bad cold for the past few days and I could not sit at my computer long enough to send a Tweet – thank goodness for BlackBerries! As you can imagine, I had a lot of time to think between making my next batch of green tea and watching the Olympics in bed (Go Canada!). One question that came to mind was, “what would the world be like without the internet, specifically, social media tools?”
If you think about it, it wouldn’t be as easy to connect with co-workers, contact clients and potential clients and connect with family overseas – or anyone outside of our current city for that matter. Social media lets us send our thoughts out into the World Wide Web in a matter of seconds. Sure there would be the telephone and mail systems, but seriously, how often do we use those anymore? The only things that are mailed to me are my bills; which do not make me a happy camper!
- If it wasn’t for social media we wouldn’t have sites like Women on Business that connect women from various cities, backgrounds and paths in life.
- We would not have quick access to Olympics results if we missed a competition (blasphemy!)
- We would not be able to promote ourselves and/or our companies quite as quickly and easily as we do now.
- If we didn’t have the internet I would not have heard about some great services: Vistaprint.ca for super affordable business cards and NextTree.com for super affordable web design.
Note: I would not be able to create a website because no one would be able to visit it without internet.
- Some great fundraising opportunities and awareness campaigns have garnered international attention through the use of social media (i.e. earthquake relief efforts in #Haiti and the fraudulent #election results of #Iran)
Why am I suddenly being the poster child for the internet and social media sites, you may ask?
Well, over the past few weeks, I’ve been asked by a few people why I like Twitter and what’s so special about it (yes, there are a few people left who still do not use Twitter). I initially questioned my love, but then I realized Twitter has allowed me to connect with so many people, to be inspired and motivated by the things they do and the things they tell the world about. It has allowed me to be in the know about what is going on in my city (i.e. I’m following a mayoral candidate) and to be able to build my own little online community and network. I have talked to (tweeted) men and women from all over the world and have shared information. I have read people’s stories of career success and was able to share some of mine.
The point I am making is this, the social media empire is on the rise and everyone needs to get on board; either write a blog, use facebook or Tweet, and use it to its fullest potential. Promote yourself and your brand, network and meet people, promote your cause and/or your business, and most importantly, connect with people from various countries.
What better way to break down walls of prejudice and misinformation than to talk to and create friendships with people from all over the world? That is what I call successfully using social media.
Your mission for this week: connect with people outside of your timezone using social media and see how/if it can inspire you to lead a more successful life or career.
“To realize the full possibilities of this economy, we must reach beyond our own borders, to shape the revolution that is tearing down barriers and building new networks among nations and individuals, and economies and cultures: globalization. It’s the central reality of our time.” – Bill Clinton