How mobile phones and social media followed the same journey

Did you know that once upon a time, there were no such thing as mobile phones? *

I can remember when people started using them – some keen early adopters. Back then in early 1990s Australia, mobiles were awkward, clunky things that were an embarrassment to carry around … but somehow still cool. You could speak to people while you were walking around? Awesome!

Mobile phones & social media - similar journeys
Mobile phones & social media – similar journeys

But at the time, there were a lot of people who said: “I’ll never need a mobile phone. I’ve got a landline. Why would I want people to contact me when I’m out and about? It’s overkill. I have a life.

Eventually of course, many of these people bought a mobile phone.

  • They used their mobiles be more contactable.
  • They used their mobiles to have fun, especially as they developed into smartphones with all the associated games and apps.
  • Those who used mobiles well found it won them new business and helped them keep in touch with the world.

Those who didn’t use mobiles well found little payoff. If you leave the phone switched off, or don’t take your mobile with you when you’re, er, mobile – they won’t deliver the same benefits.

It’s a similar story with social media.

Years ago there were some early adopters. Now there are millions of daily users.

Similarly, there are still some people who question whether they need social media.

“I’ll never need social media. I use email. I use my phone. Why would I want people to contact me on social media? It’s overkill. I have a life.

But as was the case with mobile phones, many of these people will eventually use social media. They may succumb to the peer pressure, as was often the case with a mobile phone. Others will ask you if you have a LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter account and you might be under pressure to get one (or all).

Then you might try social media.

You will probably begin to have fun with it.

You use it to be more contactable.

And you find it actually helps you communicate more effectively. You might use it to win business.

That’s if you’re using it well. If you’re using it sporadically and half-heartedly and don’t respond (as in don’t pick up the phone) then it won’t work for you.

You might then be tempted to criticise social media.

You might scratch your head and wonder what other people see in it.

Maybe it’s because you’re just not using it right.

You haven’t found interesting accounts to follow. You’re not visiting often enough for it to make sense.

But one day you might suddenly get it. And like your smartphone that you can’t leave home without, social media might become an indispensable part of your life, bringing you news, entertainment, friendship and value like no other communications channel.

*yes I’ve heard this analogy before but in my post I’ve dug a little deeper. Hope you enjoy it!

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