I have been using social media for a few years, but really don’t pay that much attention to it. Years ago I worked for a SaaS company that was looking into ways that we could tap social media to help the sales team, so I set up a couple of accounts. Then we thought it would be really cool if we could design the SFA to be like a game. This was the application of gamification theory to software development long before it became chic. I am not a gamer, yet I was faced with trying to figure out how to apply the principles to business processes. Our developers were all over the idea. They loved it! So I joined facebook and started playing some of the online games to garner an understanding about why this might work. You might say I was a bit of a laggard. Most of my connections were people I actually worked with. We would agree on a game that had potential and we would spend time trying to understand each others positions. Some of the ideas were interesting and the developers would get really excited about them. Most of the ideas didn’t have legs and it was my job to knock them down, before too much time was spent pursuing a dead-end. Yep, I wasn’t very popular, but I learned a lot of new skills.
Fast forward to today. I haven’t really stayed active in any of the games as my career has moved in a different direction. I could fill in all the gaps about the crooked CEO and the demise of a very promising company that had the potential to change an industry, but most of those wounds are a bit too fresh. What I have done with the account that I set up low those many moons ago is connected with family and friends. It is nice to catch up with old friends as time permits, but it has always just been that thing everyone does and I kind of pay attention.
The other evening one of my best friends from childhood posted something. Although this would seem to be a routine, mundane happening, it really isn’t for us. Low and behold, somewhere along the way she had reconnected with a mutual friend from all those years ago and we started catching up. It was like all those years and distance was wiped away. For the first time, I get it. I understand the experience that social media can provide and I finally appreciate it.