Social media MIA

I just noticed last night that I’ve been MIA, i.e., “missing in action,” from twitter for nearly 3 weeks, now, and have hardly noticed!

As I was reflecting on why I had gone for such a long stretch before realizing it, I was reminded of a recent chat with my good friend, Gordon Montgomery. Besides being among the best user experience (U/X) experts I have ever worked with, Gordon is a very astute observer of trends where technology and society intersect.

During our recent chat, to paraphrase a point he was making, Gordon said far too many people – including reporters, analysts, and other trend watchers – tend to overly focus on the “media” part of “social media” while all but ignoring the “social” part of the phrase. In other words, the primary point of social media is to enrich the human social interaction, for those times when we do physically come into contact with one another. In fact, Gordon argued, social media is at its best when it facilitates bringing people together in more meaningful, productive, physical (as opposed to virtual or digital) situations.

So, that key business meeting amongst representatives of different partnering organizations, that gathering of moms & dads of regional girl scouts organizations, that happy hour meet-up or tweet-up of like-minded inventors and entrepreneurs, from 20-to-50 somethings – all are good examples of social media serving its prime directive.

And, when I reflected on my 3-week twitter absence, indeed my direct in-person interactions were way up beyond the normal day-to-day individual and group business meetings, with some of the larger highlights including:

  • I started participating in a 5-week workplace ministries workshop at our church;
  • I took on an assignment to launch a fledgling development effort for a fascinating new sustainability effort that could have a big impact on innovation, called the GreenXchange;
  • I attended the wedding of only the third of many nephews and nieces that are starting to come of age, which turned into a big extended weekend family reunion;
  • I served as a judge for the 3rd annual Clean Energy Venture Summit; and
  • I helped get my parents further situated in Austin, after moving here recently.

Oh and to top it off, I was sick for two work days (a fairly rare occasion) with what I’ve deduced may have been a “light” version of the flu, I hope!

So, upon reflection, the “social” part of life sort of took over, without need of the “media” part. And, I’ll have to confess, I didn’t miss it that much. If anything, life seemed a little less frenetic and a little stressful than it used to be…and that seems to me to be an outcome we can all appreciate.

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