And just like that, it’s 2012.
I don’t do resolutions. Or lists. Not that there’s anything wrong with those that do. (There is.) But here’s one thing that I will say about 2012: I’m taking the word “social” back.
Somewhere along the way, after it got slapped in front of anything old that marketers wanted to make new again (I’m looking at you media, business, community, etc.), “social” lost its way. If you were to go to a marketing conference or walked into a PR company and asked 20 people what social meant, yeah, you’d get 20 different answers.
But I digress.
Enough is enough. Now, I’m not implying that we should stop using the word, let’s just start using it like it was intended to be used. Being social online is different from being social offline. In most cases, you’re isolated when you’re using online social media. You’re in your own little world. Maybe in an airport or in your guest room/office at home. No matter what the case, everything you do is being filtered through that glass screen.
Social offline is really SOCIAL in the truest sense of the word. I find it so ironic that one of the definitions of social is “living or disposed to live in companionship with others or in a community, rather than in isolation.” I’ll let you draw your own conclusions from that one.
So, in 2012, I’m taking social back – and not trying to pry it from the hands of the internet kids – to make social, SOCIAL. In other words, we will truly connect online to offline and offline to online. One drives the other. Always. If we are truly social beings, then it’s fair to say that we crave physical interaction from others. (That’s skin and bones, kids, not avatars.) After all, the best times of your life don’t happen on your smartphone or your iPad. And the sooner we all realize that, the sooner we can make social mean something more than the fairy dust we sprinkle on our new biz pitches.