Two years ago, I had the opportunity to speak with a young University student in Dubai. We were talking about our world today. Not about how noisy and complicated it is but how it is full of opportunities to learn and connect with people. There are now many communication channels today that put us in touch with information and help us to stay informed and communicate with each other.
This young University student mentioned that in her previous lecture her professor asked a question and immediately her and her fellow students went onto Twitter and quickly found links to articles and information. An informed vibrant discussion ensued and real learning took place. A social media channel was clearly being used for learning.
As our conversation continued she said the problem that we have as young people is that our parents do not understand that young people learn and communicate differently today. She said that parents tell us to put our phones away. They say our generation is not able to communicate anymore and we have certainly lost the ability to listen because we are stuck on our phones.
But then, time stopped for a moment, when she uttered her next words. What she shared impacted my thoughts and resonated beyond that moment.
She said, “the real problem is not that we use our phones to connect with others through social media channels. The real problem is that we are still young. We have much to learn. We need role models and our role models are not there.”
“Our role models are not there,” she said.
These were the words that echoed in my mind. It was true. So many of my friends and people that I knew who had so much value to add were absent from the communication spaces and places that young people, and many people, are active in today.
That day I asked myself these questions:
Am I an influential role model in the online spaces where much of our communication is happening today?
What values, inspiration and support was I adding to the conversations shared and the content uploaded each day online?
What influence was I projecting in our online world through posts and content?
Each day more and more content continues to be added to our virtual spaces that we share as blog articles, conversations attached to posts, photos and videos.
Are your words there?
Are you sharing your talents and skills?
Are you inspiring and guiding those around you?
We can post, we can tweet and we can upload videos. We can snapchat and pin posts. We can involve ourselves in conversation in a growing global community that is each day becoming more interconnected as technology weaves us together.
Each person is a unique individual with special skills and talents to share. However, many people today have been silenced by the knowledge and information revolution that we live in. They have not taken the challenge to be active participants in our social media channels today. I know people today that have much value to add to others, however, they are not there on Twitter, on Instagram, writing Blog Posts or uploading a YouTube. They are not there to bump into in the spaces and places that young people are active today.
There is much wisdom in the age and experience of people around us yet due to their inability to positively adapt to new ways of communication and collaboration, especially in online spaces, they have been silenced.
Today, conversation and knowledge is flowing 24/7,in a networked, global world.
That day when time stood still I became an advocate for personal branding. Our personal brand is our unified voice that we associate with the essence of who we are. When we know who we are and the value that we offer, we can become part of the worldwide community and part of the flow of knowledge and ideas. Yes, it means taking on the challenge to learn to use knew ways to communicate. Yes, it means that we acknowledge we have value to share. Yes, it means that we take the time to learn and to contribute.
Know that you are unique and have value to add. Join in a global conversation online by commenting on a post or writing a blog article or uploading a video or posting a tweet.
Challenge yourself to try a new communication channel, such as, Twitter or Instagram or Snapchat or Pinterest this week.
Until the Next Post:
Share your experiences, the successes and the challenges, of communicating in social media channels today.
SHARE your thoughts below and CONNECT with others.
“Social Media is a Conversation.”