Forget Facebook and Pick up the Phone
The business card is no longer. At least that’s what several new social networking sties want you to believe. I personally use a few, but am now finding it impossible to keep up. With hundreds of millions of dollars being invested by over-zealous-money-driven VC’s, and just about every superpower taking on Facebook, it’s a wonder any new network can stand out.
Take for instance my situation:
Facebook – Started in college senior year and quickly added a few hundred friends. I used the site to join frivolous groups, stalk perspective dates and post pictures. After college I started to use the site to network with potential bosses, and found myself interacting with journalists. With the explosion of apps a few months ago, I now spend minutes every day rejecting stupid invitations like: Slasher App and Top Friends application.
MySpace – Stared after college and now have almost 300 friends. Every person I can pick up the phone and call (my one criteria on Myspace). The layout is archaic, and an eyesore. I hardly use it.
Linkedin – Joined last year. Use it to network with perspective employers, journalists, co-workers and old bosses. Spend 10 minutes a month on the site, and haven’t checked it for a few weeks.
The list goes on.
What I’m finding here is that I’m spending almost an hour a day, throughout the day building my online presence, and hating it. When I could be outside drinking beer, going on a run, or actually talking to a friend, I find myself making connections, writing emails and looking at pictures of last night’s keg stand.
In other words, the applications which are supposed to “bring us together” are really tearing us apart.
So what is a young professional to do? For starters, pick up the phone. Everyone is busy, some are really busy, but in reality no one should be too important that they can’t talk to you. A CEO may be booked for weeks, or just give you the runaround, but a younger professional may not be.
I’ve found myself calling numerous editors, writers and professionals for advice. They initially clam up, wondering why the hell this kid is asking for an open ended conversation, but when they have the courage to converse it becomes beneficial for both of us.
Everyone has an ego. Online the egos are inflated by number of friends, subscribers, comments and trackbacks. On the phone, the ego is limited to time.
So I challenge the younger generation to step outside the box and connect the old fashioned way. Because as we all know when the Internet goes down it seems the world tends to stop, and God forbid your livelihood depends on such a fragile infrastructure.
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Tim Shisler is a freelance interactive journalist specializing in photography, video and gps-supported content. On the Water, a phrase commonly used by river guides to describe their day, is a group of thoughts and images derived from Tim's travels and interviews.
To see more of Tim's work please visit his website www.timshisler.com
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