It’s a little past midnight and my brain is not getting the hint that it’s bedtime.
I’ve already put in a 12-hour day consulting clients and I should be exhausted, yet I’m wired. Was it something I or a client said that sparked this awakened state? Or was it me just not being able to turn off the entrepreneurial spigot?
I turned to social media and read past the posts, hoping that maybe scrolling through the lives of others would somehow tire me. Ugh. Nope!
More awake than ever. And seriously, what was I thinking?
Some people shouldn’t be posting to social media…ever. They have no filter. NONE!
People talking about their boss, their love life, what drugs they are using, their baby daddies (seems the more you have the better), how much money they spent, who they voted for and why we as their followers need to be in tuned to what they are doing every second of every day.
Social media has become the very thing that is tearing people apart. And it’s sad. It was created to bring the world closer, to enable faster communication and help educate, entertain and engage each other. And yet, it’s become chaotic, filled with propaganda and false hope.
The more social we try to become on the web, the less social we are in real life.
We’ve forgotten how to have real conversations. We’ve distanced ourselves away from networking. And, hashtags and emojis have now jumped from the digital screen and are being used to communicate in the real world.
The Emoji Movie…yup, it’s for real. And nope, I didn’t see it, but my kids did. And seriously what’s the fascination with using poop shaped or animal shaped pictures to describe how we feel?
Hi, I’m Rob and my last post was 8.9 seconds ago and I have a problem. That used to be me. And no I don’t tweet. Twitter to me is pure chaos wrapped in a layer of velvety confusion. But I did have a problem, it seemed I was addicted to online communication…just like everyone. You could say I qualified to be in Social Media Anonymous.
I looked back and realized that 90% of how I communicated with clients had become non-verbal. Email. Text. WhatsApp. iMessage. Twitter. Facebook. LinkedIn. Snapchat.
I spent more time chatting through social platforms with clients trying to articulate a concept, a solution or another way of doing something when had I just picked up the phone and called them I probably could have saved half the time. Oh, and the arguments and the misinterpretations that occurred because the other party couldn’t decipher my thinking, my sarcasm or my intention via social media that most likely wouldn’t have happened had we just talked it out.
I’ve lost a great deal of so-called friends because they didn’t like what I posted, or how I commented on something or that I shared something from someone they didn’t like. But, if it wasn’t for social media, I also probably wouldn’t have a viable business that enables me to help so many entrepreneurs around the globe.
As someone whose livelihood is dependent on clients who desire to build trust with their audience my job is to help them understand how to do so. And, digital technology can help facilitate that trust…when used correctly. And it’s not about chat bots…don’t even get me started on those.
I’ve been an entrepreneur for over 25 years and, honestly, I used to hate using the phone. I would say, “send me a fax.” Well I stopped saying that in the late nineties, when email became mainstream. And when social media came on the scene, I embraced it. I dove right it. And I even wrote three books about social media. Very easy to understand and follow books. I also wrote books on life lessons, podcasting, search engine optimization and more. I wanted people to understand how to use technology to better their lives, to build trust and to attract the right types of clients. And, the phone now has become my greatest asset.
Yup, in the age of “got to have it right now”, social posting and email does make sense, but the human voice is what I prefer. There is less miscommunication and I don’t have to feel like Pavlov’s dog and quickly reply when a text, chat or insta-message comes in. I can schedule calls when I need to. Which ultimately saves time, and keeps me focused.
Sure, I still post to social media and respond to comments when I can, but I encourage all my clients to schedule a phone call with me if the chat conversation is going to last more than few back and forth exchanges. Why? Chat conversations can go on and on and distract us from getting our work done. Now some would argue that getting a certain someone on the phone (the person who actually needs a therapist more than a business coach) can lead to hour long conversations that suck the very life out of you…and it can if you allow it.
You have the power to control it…use it.
Unfortunately, being that entrepreneur that uses the phone for a living requires tact…and time management…and the ability to use both. Otherwise, a 10-minute phone call could turn into a 3-hour time suck that leads to you questioning life itself. Stick to the plan and watch the clock. It’s the same concept that we should also take with the social realm. Time!
Allocate time to post, share, like and comment and when that time is up…turn away. Go do something else. Take a walk. Write an article. Make a video. Go fishing. Take a friend to lunch. Whatever…just do something. What you will discover, is that with discipline, in controlling your time on the web, you will be able to free up your day and start to live a richer more productive life in the real world.
Getting social starts with a real conversation. Pick up the phone and start building your tribe today.