As pervasive as social media is today, a majority of the people on earth still don’t use it. That’s hard to imagine for some of us whose work lives and much of personal lives seem to revolve around it, but it’s true. Facebook’s nearly 1 billion users is a genuinely impressive number, but so is the 6 billion not using it.
Some don’t use social media because they do not have access to it. They are in underdeveloped countries without the technology, or they don’t have the personal resources to spend what it takes to be online, or their countries don’t allow them to use it, or their lives are following paths and work and pursuits that have no need for it, or – gasp – they just choose not to even though they have the access and means to do so.
It is the last group – the ones who choose not to use it – to whom I plead they reconsider. For them to do so requires that we address the “What’s in it for me?” question they may well have.
The overly simplistic graphic I created above shows in the smaller blue circles the world of relationships and connections in which most people on earth live. It consists of friends, family, coworkers and others we know or have access to through various direct or indirect channels. The small blue circles describe the connections for the shepherd in a field, the leader of a tribe, the worker on an assembly line, the knowledge worker or the president of a country.
If one chooses, however, to take advantage of the world of social media, then the potential for personal connections, information, knowledge exchange and extending your own influence literally has no earthly boundary, at least among others who also choose to extend their world through social media.
Why would anyone choose less knowledge, less information, less influence, less efficiency, fewer contacts, and a host of other less-than-optimal resources when so much more is just waiting for them on the other side of a keyboard?
I wish more were excited about the reality of and the possibilities that come from leap year lesson #145 – Social media brings the world to you.