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The Future is Bright, The Future is… Social Media?

I’m told public speaking is consistently ranked as many people’s greatest fear… yeah, that’s right – above heights, spiders, snakes, clowns (I still don’t get why anyone likes clowns) etc. In fact, in many surveys public speaking is even ranked above the fear of death.

Which, in my opinion, is all the more reason for you to be very impressed with what I’m about to tell you…

You see, I had the privilege/challenge/trauma (delete as appropriate) of delivering a presentation on digital and social media last week at a Media and Marketing event (see video below) organised by The Nubian Times.

I’m not ashamed to say I was a little nervous beforehand, but by all accounts the talk went well.

Although I won’t go into the contents of it here, the presentation did allow me the chance to share some thoughts on what is, to me, a hugely exciting sector, one that has increasing influence in Manchester in particular.

You see, this city has the largest tech cluster in the UK outside of London, and that in an economy generating around £2bn annually, accounting for a significant part of the region’s overall economic output.

micah-yongo-media-and-marketing

That’s me being all professional and talky. Which does happen… occasionally.

All of which means the creative digital sector, of which social media is a major part, is a pretty big deal just now – financially, yes, but even more so culturally.

I mean, think about it. We keep up with current affairs via social media. We source job opportunities through it, decide which restaurants we’re going to visit with it. In fact, with some of the new features Facebook has recently introduced, the likelihood is we’ll soon be doing most of our shopping through it too.

Which gets you thinking…

With around a quarter of the world’s population now using social media, there are all sorts of questions about how this global society of ours is set to evolve.

So what do you think?

What’s been your experience of social media, professional or personal?

Do you see social media as largely a good or bad thing?

And what do you think may lie ahead for us, and it, in the future?

Feel free to comment below, would love to hear your thoughts.

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14 thoughts on “The Future is Bright, The Future is… Social Media?

  1. I can answer this one quickly. I have a love/hate relationship with it. Love that it brings knowledge, wisdom, friendships, takes the miles off when wanting to communicate. Hate might be too strong a word, but here goes. It hate all the nasty bad stuff out there in social media…hate it. Thankful there is a delete button.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh man Betty I soooooo agree!! I think I have exactly the same love/hate thing with it. It’s so amazing how we can keep in touch with people now. I was able to keep in touch with my wife via Whatsapp whilst she was working with a charity in Cambodia earlier this year. She was sending me photos and videos of all she was seeing and doing throughout the trip – it was such a gift!

      But the hateful stuff there can be on twitter etc. sometimes is just… well… I have no words. I’m genuinely not sure how to assess social media’s affect on how people communicate with each other sometimes.

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  2. I think it’s mostly a good thing! I’ve made so many amazing connections that would not have been possible without it. And I write regularly to an awesome penfriend from Poland as well via WhatsApp, where we share bits and pieces of our lives, including photos! Seriously, the thought of being able to communicate like that regularly with someone across the oceans, and for free, still kinda blows my mind today! 🙂 The pros clearly outweighs the cons. At least for me.

    Thought there would be a video of your talk, was looking forward to it!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lol, thanks! Unfortunately the talk wasn’t recorded, at least not in its entirety. But if I get the opportunity to speak again I’ll see about making sure it is, if I can.

      I can so relate to your love of WhatsApp. I’m a WhatsApp addict right now. And you’re absolutely right, the opportunities to communicate that social media offer – via images, video, audio AND text – are just astounding. I can’t imagine not having these tools available anymore. They’re a way of life for so many of us and provide such an important means to connect with different parts of the world. The benefits are immeasurable. So yes, I think you’re right, although there are some pretty heinous negatives sometimes, the positives are limitless.

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    • ‘Flattened the world’ – such a great turn of phrase to describe it. The accessibility and connectivity social media is offering is unprecedented. It’s hugely exciting to be able to connect with people across the globe. But as you rightly say, it’s a double-edged sword, and sometimes it’s hard to tell which side of the blade is larger.

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  3. Well, the change is here to stay, like it or not. It’s affected my world. From a business aspect it’s saved a ton of time and made some things light years more convenient.

    It’s a fine line between using social media/technology to make life easier and more efficient and it slowing things down and being less productive. To the ones that can figure it out for their world will go the spoils.

    I’m still old fashioned enough to shut it all down right about now come night fall.

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    • That’s the right kinda old fashioned if you ask me. I see kids on iPads and smartphones and wonder what their relationship to the screen will be like as adults. Because as much as I think social media is a great thing, I’m aware I belong to a generation who knew what it was to grow up without it – running around outdoors, exploring, gettings scrapes and cuts on knees etc.

      I guess I find it hard to imagine what it would be like to have been born into this digital media world we’re in now, rather than having grown into it. With all the studies we see about cyber-bullying and the increasing prevalence of mental illness amongst young people, I can’t help but think that we’re still discovering the effects of social media – both positive and negative – and will be continuing to do so for a while yet.

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  4. Mostly I think social media is a good thing. But like all good things, it can be used in the wrong way. A person must intentionally guard their hearts, minds, and motives.

    The biggest downfall I see with it is that so many people waste their time on it for entertainment instead of using it as a tool to make their lives better or to educate themselves.

    I also think it has the potential for people to disassociate with others. What I mean is, I see teens unable to effectively communicate with others in person. They are used to being online. This has also created an environment where people feel free to say things to others that they would normally keep to themselves. They have lost the meaning of the phrase “if you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.”

    Liked by 1 person

    • So true TC! That last point in particular is one I find especially troubling. I remember reading a study not long ago where they alluded to a diminished capacity for empathy in younger people, caused by too much online interaction at the expense of face-to-face conversation.

      There appears to be a discernible shift among younger generations when it comes to some of the customs and norms of communicating. Having a form of social interaction that doesn’t include things like the expressing and reading of facial expressions, voice intonation, body language etc. may be quick, but not necessarily always healthy.

      It’s hard to know what should be done about this.

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  5. I love social media definitely not against it but I do think nothing overrides face to face contact. I work across international markets and I have found some contracts and deals won’t take place until you meet the person face to face. With the growth of social I hope we as a society don’t ever loose the importance of building relationship face to face. Love the blog micah lots of food for thought….

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks!! You know, with the nature of your work and what it entails, the perspective you have on this is fascinating. We often talk about the value of face to face relationships on a personal level, so to hear about the importance this kind of interaction holds in a professional context, and how even today it can still trump the convenience of social media despite the added logistical challenges working in an industry like yours… well… it kinda blows my mind. In a good way. As you say, we just can’t lose the importance of building relationships face to face. Thanks for sharing!

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  6. I hate that I love it? Perhaps? It has a time and place. I’ve found in my research in the past few years that business owners and bloggers have to use each platform very different from the general public. So that has been a learning curve and a wonderful challenge for me from a discovery aspect. You make some excellent points. Nice post!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lol, I get what you mean Kerrie. Sometimes I think of all the cool stuff social media has made possible – staying connected with friends in different cities and countries, keeping up with day-to-day lives of loved ones, the ability to stay informed about current events in real-time. But man that vibrating buzz of a notification can have a real tug sometimes, one that’s capable – if I’m not careful – of drawing my attention away from the cool people and times that are happening right there where I am. Gotta keep a leash on this thing I guess lol.

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