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Social media is Transforming the Way We Communicate

Do you remember a time before social media existed? I shudder at the thought. Those were the days of dinosaurs. When people wanted to communicate, they sent letters, walked across the street and knocked on doors. As technology continues to advance, phone calls and emails are starting to become extinct. I’ve gotten to the point where I’d prefer it if you just found me on Facebook, sent me a text, or even a tweet. If you actually call me, I’ll just think you’re weird and if you bother to leave a message, I’ll check to see if Google Voice can decipher it and if not, I’ll begrudgingly listen.  Yes, that’s how tech obsessed I am and I’m pretty sure you are too however now that I’m in my 30’s (shh, don’t tell anyone else), I’m feeling a bit nostalgic. I stare longingly at the phone missing out on hearing a dial tone, the butterflies I get when it connects through and the person on the other end picks up and I hear their sweet voice. Anyone feeling me?

As much as I wish my email was anything but work related stuff, the dark side will always win me over and we will continue to move forward as technology continues to advance and more of our old favorites become obsolete. While I may miss the old days, I have to admit that social media had radically changed the way we communicate and do business.

When the Internet was first introduced, people would sit in chat rooms and talk however if you think about it, Facebook and Twitter are the modern versions of those chat rooms but a little more advanced and trustworthy (that is if you take the time to thoroughly do your research). I’ve met several people via various social media channels who are now my best friends and believe it or not, I’ve also dated some guys I’ve met via Twitter (and later stalked via Google but don’t tell them). Various social media sites like FourSquare, Path, YouTube, etc make it easy to learn more about any potential friends and dates. After all, if you take a look at any of my sites you’ll quickly learn I eat out a lot (because I’m also a food blogger), I’m obsessed with cat photos, and that I tweet frequently. Wouldn’t I be an awesome friend or a date?

However social media isn’t all about dating, friends, or stalking potential new friends (dates). It’s also a great place to do business or address any customer service requests for your business. I bet you never thought that your 140 character tweet about the bad customer service you had a restaurant was getting any attention. If the restaurant isn’t paying attention, the competition probably is. On the web, someone is always watching. Not in an eerie creepy way but in more sophisticated way to monitor, observe, and address issues. There have been several case studies of brands reaching out to their customers to address their needs and solve their problems. One organization I’m really impressed with is the California DMV.  Yes, you just read that right. The DMV. It’s the place we all love to complain about while we’re waiting in line however it’s a well guarded secret that you can now handle most issues via their Twitter account where they’ll help you set up appointments, get someone to call you back, send you the proper forms to fill out, or any other needs you might have. I’ve been floored by their response and wish it was the same at their offices but one can only hope.

Do you remember a time before social media? What are some success stories you’ve had with social media and what contacts have you made? Let us know in the comments below.

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