Saturday, May 2, 2009

Keeping with the Times

In my Introduction to Communication Theory class this week, we discussed identity and new media. Because it is so varied, we jokingly defined new media as "anything the old guys don't know how to use" to interact.

Imagine my surprise recently when I opened my e-mail one morning and found an invitation from my dad to connect on LinkedIn.

I had created a LinkedIn profile a few months ago, but honestly I had not utilized the site much since then. In fact, my dad's invitation marked my first official connection on the site!

This event drove home the point of how pervasive social networking sites are becoming in our society; even my dad- one of the "old guys"- is joining in. But it also brought with it a new appreciation for my dad and his willingness to change with the times. After all, the world of social and new media is changing so rapidly that it is hard for me to keep up, even though I consider myself an interested and engaged member of this technology-driven generation. It takes a lot for someone who is pretty removed from the phenomenon to begin to get involved.

My dad's willingness to embrace these new elements of our culture also reminded me of the need to stay on top of these new sites, especially as a student studying public relations. Technology and social media are valuable ways of reaching a diverse audience, but they are constantly changing, and they will not wait for anyone! Those who are able to adapt and stay with these various new media outlets are the ones who will get- and stay- ahead of the pack. Simply being aware of these outlets for networking is not enough; one must stay actively engaged in order to thrive.

Needless to say, I have been more active on LinkedIn lately. Thanks dad.

1 comment:

Rob Woodward said...

This has been a 'hot topic' with our trade organization, the International Society of Weighing and Measurement trying to find ways to increase relevance for new members from Gen X and Y. One of the challenges is we are struggling, trying to attract younger members whose idea of participating follows a different model.

I'm not ready to think of myself as an 'Old Guy' yet... maybe 'Technologically Challenged But Trying to be Hip Middle Ager' is a more apt demographic description!