Social Media: Taking the Plunge

This content is 12 years old. I don't routinely update old blog posts as they are only intended to represent a view at a particular point in time. Please be warned that the information here may be out of date.

January 2012 new year’s resolution: to join the 21st century!

With two young children, the past few years have flown by in a time-starved, sleep-deprived haze. Juggling motherhood with work has left little time or head-space for anything new.

I’m firmly stuck in the age of email. If I want to contact someone, I call them or I email them. Very occasionally, I text. MySpace and Bebo passed me by. Facebook and Twitter are things that other people do and LinkedIn is somewhere I ought to be.

After many months of procrastination, I reluctantly dipped my little toe in the water this summer and joined LinkedIn. I felt slightly exposed having an on-line presence for the first time. The photo is still proving a sticking point.

Needing a further push, I went along to a social media event hosted by flexible working specialists Ten2Two. Aimed at individuals like myself, who have somehow missed (or avoided) the social media revolution, the workshop gave a useful insight into LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and blogging. Around the room, questions and concerns included choosing the best media, privacy and security, and of course the holy grail for all working mums, finding the time.

Which Media When?

Yes – I’m on LinkedIn – but my sad lack of photo is a no-no. The privacy issue with Facebook has always been a concern for me. But, while it may not be the best place for B2B connections, I do need to get to grips with it before my children are on-line. I see the value of Twitter for keeping up-to-date with news and hot topics but remain slightly alarmed at the thought of constant tweet distractions. While there may be guidelines for using social media, there are no hard and fast rules. You simply have to get signed up, try it and see.

The Sticky Issue of Privacy

One of the reasons I’m not on Facebook, don’t tweet and have never blogged before today is; how do I keep my private life private? The answer is, with social media, you can’t! And you can’t keep work separate from your personal life. I’ve decided on the following approach: With anything that I put on-line, I have to be comfortable with the idea that my customers, colleagues, parents, friends, children’s teachers and school-run acquaintances could read it. I also have to be happy that anyone from my past could read it – as well as anyone I may meet or work with in the future.

Finding the Time

The old problem of finding the time won’t go away. But I’ve put aside some time to write this blog post and I’ve enjoyed it! The moment it goes live may be slightly nerve-wracking (will anyone read it, what will they think…) but equally rather liberating!

From a personal and professional point-of-view, I’ve learned that I can no longer bury my head in the sand. Ignoring social media and hoping I can carry on as before is no longer an option. And so with a deep breath, I take the plunge!