Any periodic glance at Twitter, Facebook or other “Social Media” site will spot a never-ending series of messages from social media advocates, prophets, gurus, teachers – you name it (actually – they name it), day after day, week after week, for years. I’m not referring to the teaching tips and hardware/software advice messages, but to messages that communicate “see you at the next conference”, “whatever happened to…”, and “saw our fellow SM expert in the skymiles lounge”, and “yet another day on the plane”, and “I’m Mayor of xyz on…”, and,…–messages of the trucker, the pilot, the sailor, the traveling salesman, the missionary, the budding Marco Polo.
The picture is clear. The leaders in transporting the new Social Media system to you work not only through subscription to websites and blogposts (apparantly, often written en route), e-books and journals, not just through site visits to paying clients wanting face-to-face delivery (dock to dock?) of formats, insights and technical tips – “the merchandise”.
The Social Media Leaders spend a huge amount of their lives “in transit” from one synergistic mutual support and cross-training, “in the trade” relationship building seminar, conference, confab, to another.
They are nomads carrying the desirable products of “Social Media” from oasis to oasis, port to port, trade show to trade show – breathing and informed planes/ trains/ cars/ boats/ buses laden with IT, PR, HR, blogging and communications product passing in the night in hotel lobbies, airport lounges and conference halls.
They search and yearning for face time, human relationships, camaderie on or between journeys like that found in the caravanserie, truck stops, depots and ports frequented by those hauling material goods. They are eager to return home for a brief turn-around with co-workers, family, buddies, vacation time to recharge the batteries and refit the carrier/messenger. They share the needs and aspirations of most people, most of us.
But the goods that these itinerants carry are cerebreal, check-list or best-practices based, electronic, often wireless, mass-media, personality-based yet paradoxically impersonal though touting personal relationships.
Has the old “think globally – act locally” mantra now been outmoded by a Social Media that requires a very specific, singular individual sacrificing themselves to disconnection and loneliness to move between far-separated physical places – “Up in the Air” [(c) 2009 Paramount Pictures] – to communicate its virtues face-to-face? For their sakes, I envision a better approach than the one they who have invented this society have chosen for themselves.