I saw a great article on Social Media written by Al Maag, Vice President of Avnet. In it, he talks about growing up and his belief that most of his friends who became successful achieved their success because of the social skills and the relationships they formed within their group. He and his friends are all convinced that they learned these social traits in their teens, and just by hanging out. He also says he was fortunate not having grown up with the electronic tools people have today. They had to interact with others and learn the value of street smarts. They had to use their relationships and interpersonal skills to help create their futures. They worked and played as a team, won and lost, and experienced life. They worked at being friendly and establishing friends. They learned how to socialize, negotiate, communicate, and read body language. Sizing someone up was an art as well.
He is concerned that today's parents are not encouraging their kids to go out on their own and make it. Too many young people are getting too comfortable staying home and interacting via games, texting, Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube. They have not experienced how to interact with others in social situations, which will eventually hurt them in business. In his opinion, these Social Media tools are another excellent communication tactic like email, direct mail, PR, and ads.
But are these great tools going to replace being sociable -- what we consider to be essential life skills? Again Social Media is all the rage now and its impact is life changing and he personally uses all these channels to be more efficient. But his question is it really social? He doesn't mean in the sense of staying in touch or being nice or courteous to people, he means sociable... interacting.
The jury is out on this question. Maybe there is no real answer and Social Media will be forever known as Social Media.
Some people recently boasted on Twitter that they zapped their LinkedIn profiles because they felt they gained nothing from a presence there. On the other hand, some say that LinkedIn generates more leads and business connection for them than any other site. Others like Google+ because get feedback on it.
Tech interaction "keeps" away people, but on the other hand, it could represent a good step forward. Note how several tech companies have adopted Social Media for improving customer support services. One conclusion is that everybody is interested in having real time updates and that is something Social Media is good at.
Speech eases communication and many feel we can deliver our thoughts in a crisp manner. Many consider a chatting waste of time, meeting them or giving them a call will finish what you have to convey.
Many like email in order to convey some information without bothering someone at a time that may be inconvenient. However, if we want to be certain that the person gets our message, we are more likely to call. A lot of us don't like texts, which we find have the intrusive character of phone calls -- demanding immediate response -- without the courtesy of actually speaking to someone. However, introverts are said to prefer written communication to spoken (in part because writing allows more time to gather one's thoughts and frame the words more exactly), which could be another reason some people favor email and texts.
Clive Thompson writes in Wired, "Guy Kawasaki, by all appearances, seems like an outgoing guy. A former Apple “evangelist,” he’s an omnipresent voice online, blogging his ideas about entrepreneurship and tweeting 40 times a day to his half-million followers. But a few years ago he posted a surprising 140-character revelation. “You may find this hard to believe,” Kawasaki wrote, “but I am an introvert. I have a ‘role’ to play, but fundamentally I am a loner.” But, a new picture is emerging. Forcing everyone to act like extroverts harms the quality of our work and our lives. The good news is many digital tools are helping to mitigate that harm. Now if we could just get some doors on those cubicles."
With regard to sociability some of us find that there can be a big difference in the way they interact in person versus by Emedia. Texting and e-mail tend to give us a distance, and sometimes a sense of anonymity, that tends to reduce our social graces.
Maybe our current “key tapping” teens will fit neatly into the employment market if we look at the current trends. Some remote workers never meet their boss. Nobody expects workers to be an interactive individuals, the employer does not care how they look, how they talk and whether they are sociable people.
But the need for people who have social and communication skills will always be sought after. Given the trends, supply for such people will not be much and hence their value will be higher. This is why the sociable teenagers of today will truly excel. Such people will be the drivers and the brains of businesses in the future. They will be the decision makers and the ones who run the big shows in business. No matter how the technology transfers the world we live in, the physical handshake will always remain as the ultimate deal maker. Mutual trust is not something you can easily build online or purely digitally. Human interaction is essential for that.