A Whole New World

May 4, 2009 at 8:21 pm 1 comment

Journey to the Center of the Earth

Journey to the Center of the Earth

When I was five my brother and I decided to try to dig our way to China. We were smart kids so we realized that in order to make it to China, we would first have to break ground in the front yard next to the tether ball poll then dig down through the top layer of soil, then the clay, and then through the center of the Earth, which we knew was filled with molten lava, large man eating lizards, mountains erupting with flames, and many other untold dangers that no sane human (much less a five and seven year old) would subject themselves to. This world, inside the center of the Earth, was different than the safe and comfortable world that my brother and I lived in every day and we knew that we would have to prepare ourselves if we were going to survive. So with our shovels in our hand we did what any competent explorer would do when faced with this type of peril – we wrapped ourselves in tinfoil.

In today’s constantly changing communication’s culture, I find myself in a similar situation, only instead of navigating through lava and lizards I am trying to make my way through Twitter and Facebook. This time my ultimate destination is not China, it is a successful communication strategy. Instead of digging through the center of the Earth I have to dig through the world of social media, which for me is just as strange and unfamiliar.

In a somewhat different twist, numerous explorers before me have successfully navigated through this unfamiliar territory, which should probably make me feel better, but for some reason only serves to make me more nervous. It’s as if I’m looking at people standing on the edge of a volcano and saying, “Come on in, the lava’s fine.” In theory I understand that talking to people who have gone there before me and successfully come out on the other side should make me feel more secure. A trail has been blazed; I’m not in it alone; It can be done; blah, blah, blah. Instead I feel overwhelmed and under equipped. I feel like I have showed up at a black tie party wearing Daisy Dukes and a tube top.

It is not that I don’t want to change or that I don’t believe that the change is necessary. It is not that I fear change. In fact, I have thought about it a lot over recent months and I have a hard time describing my feelings. This is particularly difficult since I am married to a self proclaimed social media evangelist who works in the same profession as I do (@vedo). Over the past 18 months he has embraced the social media movement, not only in his job, but he has started consulting to help others learn how to effectively use the tools in their organizations. As he has been moving forward, I have been standing still.

I have blamed the resistance on my lack of time, on my new baby (while I resisted, my husband posted the information all over his Twitter and Facebook accounts), on health issues, and trouble at work. But I have come to realize that I was just not ready to start digging because I knew that if I did it would require me to face some fire that I was not yet ready to face. But the truth is, this new world is a reality for all of us, whether we are professional communicators targeting a specific audience or grandparents trying to stay in touch.

Most of you have already braved this new frontier, but in case there are any of you hanging on with shovels in hand I say –

Bring on the tinfoil.


Entry filed under: Effective Communication, Uncategorized. Tags: , , .

Stupid is a Six Letter Word The Mommy Pull

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Lauren Vargas  |  May 16, 2009 at 4:28 pm

    OK, bring on the tinfoil…I would rather the tinfoil than Daisy Dukes and tube top for me! šŸ˜‰

    When I first jumped into the socmed space, first as a lurker in 2004 and then as a content creator in 2006, many friends/family/peers thought I was crazy. (Some think I still am crazy!) There were not many communicators in the space in comparison to those online at present. When I decided to write my master thesis on social media, I really got the cold shoulder from those who could not fathom this fad becoming a reality of our communication toolkit. It was tough. Instead of tinfoil, I wore body armor.

    There is pressure from all sides from those in our industry to jump into the deep end of social media. I caution against such a jump…as does your husband. You have to be prepared. Ease into the approprioate space(s). You have to make the decision this is what YOU want…not because others tell you that YOU this is what you want. All of us have a choice.

    The social media space is still the Wild West. Though many have blazed a trail before us, all of us have taken different paths and are acting as anthropologists. So, I welcome you fellow explorer!


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