Work Trends

Social Butterflies, Hornets and Slugs!


Okay, so before you think I’m about to reveal whether I’m a butterfly, hornet or slug, let me explain why I’m even getting into this. It started last week after attending a great talk by Barrie Bramley on Social Networking, hosted by Acsis Financial Planning in Cape Town.

It seems that us older users of facebook, twitter, (which is facebook for old people anyway!!), and other social sites are a little sensitive about the manners and etiquette that gets demonstrated from time to time. Mostly, I’m talking about the “slap in the face” treatment we get when people don’t respond to our messages, tweets, or status updates. It’s not email folks!! Or SMS for that matter. The new culture of social networking sites is far different from the formality of email. Even SMS has certain immediacy about it that requires us to be responsive and alert.

New social media like facebook and twitter has more of a “opt in, opt out” flavour. There is hardly a well established expectation of response (especially on twitter). I call twitter the “wam bam” of the internet. Facebook is a little more like dating, where blogging is like a full on marriage.

So, if you’re a social butterfly, stick with emails and SMS, and organise lavish dinner parties. If you’re a new social networker, you can safely regard yourself as a social hornet. You’re in and out of there in seconds. And just when you thought I didn’t notice…..YES! There are slugs as well. The people who go online, and simply read and read (and read some more)¬†other people’s stuff. Without contributing. Well, truth is, we need them all. So keep doing it the way you’re doing it. There’s definitely a place for you……somewhere in this social sticky web.

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As a columnist and speaker I have been able to connect with so many interesting people who have experienced wonderful adventures in life. I am fascinated with the limitless power of people and try to reflect my own experiences and thoughts through these pages.

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