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Entering the World of Social Media by TJ Brightman

abimaster | August 2, 2010
TJ Brightman
TJ Brightman is the VP of Client Services at A. Bright Idea

I just found out my daughter is “in a relationship” and her anniversary is 11 months from now.

My wife just gave one of our friends a “birthday gift” yet she never bought or wrapped a thing.

Someone just “tagged me.”

That girl I knew in high school just announced that she wants to “connect with me and be friends.”

Someone just “tagged me” again.

My wife just told the world she has walked into a restaurant to sit down and eat.

Someone just “wrote on my wall.”

All of this is so strangely familiar because it seems social media takes over our lives a little more each day.  Twitter this, Facebook that.  Don’t forget about Skype or Bing, or the latest Zang.  Ok, I made the last one up.  But, I bet you were about to reach for your computer to google the latest and greatest social media network just to stay in the loop.

I have a confession to make.  I just joined Facebook!  I apologize to my friends who along with me swore we would never give in to the establishment and found the whole idea kind of silly.  Don’t get me wrong.  Someone who lives, sleeps and breathes the world of advertising and marketing everyday certainly can recognize the power of social media and the benefits it can provide to one’s business.  I have been a communicator my entire adult life.   However, the idea of sending someone an electronic birthday gift never crossed by mind, maybe because I thought the whole idea about giving a gift was watching someone open it in front of you.

In many ways, I guess I’m still part of a generation that grew up getting their information from traditional media and stayed in touch with friends the old fashion way.  This way there are less casualties along the way and no need to “reconnect” with that guy in high school or the old girlfriend who you really don’t want to get to know better.  I am not too old to remember when the days of staying connected with friends meant finding the best deal from the telephone company on your long distance service.  Today, my daughter doesn’t know what long distance means and can stay in touch with her friends or upload a photo in seconds via her Facebook account.

My decision to join Facebook had nothing to do with the fact that I just turned 40 this year and I somehow felt the need to stay more in touch and savvy in front of my kids.  Really, I am being honest:)) (Did I really just put a smiley face at the end of the last sentence?  I don’t remember that form of punctuation in my AP Style Book from college.) My decision to join Facebook was largely due to the recent book I read titled, “The Accidental Billionaires.”  This national best seller by Ben Mezrich is the story of the 20-something  genius Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook.  Soon to be made into a movie, “The Accidental Billionaires” is a great read and not only captures the entrepreneurial spirit of this young company, but the idea behind the birth of social media in general.

So, I have taken the leap.  I have dipped my toes, (maybe just one toe) into the sea of social media that is Facebook.  Don’t expect a transformation overnight.  I am still the same old-fashioned guy who believes in staying in touch with friends by way of a phone call and building business relationships through a face-to-face meeting and handshake.  Maybe this only means that I am becoming a little more open to new ways of communicating in my next 40 years.    We will see how this works out.  I gotta go.  Someone just said something about me in my news feed……

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