For many years I avoided being socially connected. In fact, I’d call myself “social-e challenged”, a wired shut-in . I was very limited in my social media reach – zero accounts. I’ve avoided Facebook, I’m a late adapter to Linked In, preferring to keep my profile blank. I don’t even have voicemail set up on my cell.My elderly, retired mother, “Ammachi”, has even ventured into the social channels with Facebook and texting too! She’s come close to sending out a search party to find me (ahem, I mean the grandkids).
In my Cubeville digital role, I argue activity for this line of business cannot not be maintained at the level of response time people have come to expect in social channels while keeping compliant with regulators. The business must adhere to the strict legal/compliance and disclosure requirements on every communication – a resolution to the social media avenue and the review/approval process has yet to be solved. As well, the inability to verify who you are potentially communicating with becomes an issue for the business. For a period, we were actually pushing out reports via Twitter however, restructure, bandwidth and the public availability of content has put the Cubeville account to rest for the time being.
Back to being connected. With my smartphone I can check email from virtually anywhere, take and make calls, access the inter-webs for whatever info has my curiosity peaked. Video and camera options are available to capture the latest and greatest career damaging, law un-abiding citizen’s (or law enforcement’s) poor decision, and even provide a critter update to Raccoon Watch TO. I’ve got games and music to keep me entertained and unsocial. Then there’s my favourite app that allows me to withdraw books from the public library – even the required course textbook for U of T’s Foundations of Digital Communications Strategy and Social Media, Content Rules. Lugging a book on my commute is no longer an issue and I don’t mind waiting in line at the grocery store anymore with access to my latest read. Cubeville has even ensured I’m always connected by tethering me by the dreaded BlackBerry!
But all this connectivity means you’re available. All this technology may have removed or made easier some of the actual tasks of a role, but the work becomes having to be available and responsive 24/7. You can always be located. I’ve had to replace the weight of the book in my bag with all the ‘connectivity’ chargers to keep me accessible.
And there’s just so much information. In a matter of minutes, there are new ‘tweets’ to keep up with. Since creating my Twitter account I have not read the newspaper – print or online – as I traditionally would, flipping through the pages or news headlines. Not only that, I can’t fathom that anybody would be mildly interested in what it is I could possibly have to say in 140 characters – other than the family to let them know what train I’ll be on. If you’re reading this, I’ll be on the 7:43.