Social Media is a very interesting thing, whether you lump it all together or want to examine the differences among LinkedIn, Facebook, twitter, etc. One interesting aspect is that in social media, we all tend to live on the internet. Today, I hung around the “water cooler” making jokes with a fellow from Darby, England. Later on, I got a little help with an audio issue from a fellow in New York. I myself am physically located in San Francisco. Yesterday, I introduced someone from Madrid to another person from Tel Aviv.
It is awe-inspiring, somewhat miraculous and perhaps a bit confusing at the same time.
It seems that at a certain point, social media or not, it actually does matter where you are. And that tends to be the case regardless of what one does; perhaps from many standpoints.
I see “positions” available all the time asking for people who do one or more of the things that I do. Usually however, they are accompanied by the location these people need to be in, as in “Dubai” or “New Jersey”. Both of which I am sure are equally lovely, but neither are places I choose to live in at the moment.
If these positions are for nurse, research assistant, gardener or any one of many things, then understandably one would need to be in that physical location. But then again, there are hundreds of things one can do from public relations to copywriting to video production to software development, web design, graphic design. You get the picture.
There still seems to be a great resistance to doing business with others remotely, yet those same people are spending more and more time interfacing, taking and giving advice, and promoting to individuals from all over the world via social media (and other marketing).
It seems that at this time in history, we should have a bit more convergence.
Beyond this, I tend to be a very globally popular guy. It’s not that I don’t appreciate the invites, but venturing 2 continents to join you for “Two Dollar Taco Night and Karaoke Sing-Along”, tends to just be one more piece of data, information, whatever you want to call it, that I have to review and deal with.
As we see more and more physical entities and businesses promoting through social media and the internet in general, those bits of data that don’t pertain to us tend to pile up and up.
This week, there were quite literally hundreds of them. A bookstore in Bangor Maine wants to invite me to every single thing they do, which tends to be quite frequently. Acquaintances on Facebook are constantly inviting me to their birthday parties, bar-b-q’s, and other functions. Businesses I may have little interaction with want me to attend giant in-store sales – the problem is that I may be on a different continent. Musicians, comedians, and every other manner of performer send me almost daily evites, invites and other offers to come see them perform, often in places I never even knew existed, let alone could find on a map.
Now don’t get me wrong, I appreciate being Mr. Popular, or at least my avatar does, but it quite literally has gotten to the point where the more pertinent invitations often get buried under the hundreds and hundreds of other offers I get.
Yes, you can unjoin things and request to be taken off of lists, but then that also often means that information you do want won’t get to you. I like following what this organization is doing, but 2 out of every three of their communications is for some sort of fundraising thing, usually something that is geographically an impossibility, even if I were interested.
Sometimes however, I seem to get emails, invites and communications that just strangely appear out of thin air. I get equally as many communications from the extreme right as I do the extreme left and everything in between, despite my being quite apolitical. For a guy that barely votes, I seem to have caught the attention of every politician out there.
And apparently I have inadvertently given out permissions for all manner of things to magically appear for no reason at all. Perhaps the people at the Women’s Poetry Slam, putting on their “For Women Only Empowerment” program could figure out that I am not just “very butch”, but am actually a man.
So, is there a point to my rant?
Maybe it’s that we often don’t get considered for opportunities that don’t require us to be there in person, yet must contend with lots of invitations to things that we couldn’t possibly attend.
I wonder if there couldn’t be more ways of offering options to people such as, “Was your purchase at our store in October of 2008 a onetime thing because you live 5,000 miles away and were here only to attend your great uncle’s funeral and probably never intend to come back, so that we should probably only send you online specials and offers and stop inviting you to every one of our weekly functions?”
If you’re a Facebook friend that’s four hundred miles away from me, it might be an idea to not send me those “Join us for Monday Night Football all the beer and pizza you can eat and drink for $15” emails every week during football season. I am sure the friends you have in Bangalore don’t need to get it either.
Most of us have GPS, ping backs that tell where we are or at the very least put down the city or state we are in. Isn’t there some intelligent way to use that information? Can’t business and non-profits use some sort of system to help home in on those who would be most interested in
attending the community haunted house fund-raiser or the annual “pre-fire sale”? (Better yet, not bother the one’s who aren’t interested in such things)
I don’t want to have to block, defriend, fold, spindle, get off your mailing list or mutilate. But shouldn’t there be some intelligent way of figuring out just who should be getting that invite to your tabby cat’s 9th birthday party?
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