The channels of communication have changed. Information once scarce or hoarded by few, is now ubiquitous. The lines of who or where to turn for communication leadership has also blurred. We now live in a world were a Brian Solis can have as much influence as Brian Williams and Tavi Gevinson can replace Anna Wintour as the fashion forward voice of a generation.
For me and our company, the advantages and equal challenges from these new media outlets are plenty and I embrace both sides with great reverence.
However, this past week I was fascinated by the use of Twitter and its usage for malice as well as social change. During a recent NFL playoff game between the Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers, Bears quarterback Jay Cutler left the game with an apparent knee injury and allowed his backup(s) to take over. Cutler remained on the sideline, most of it standing and often appearing ambivalent to his surroundings. While the game was still taking place, current and former players (some now members of the media) Tweeted that Cutler was a quitter, had no heart, should have continued to play, and how they would punched him in the mouth if he was on their team. Turns out, he did try to return to the game on two different occasions, had two pain killing shots injected to his knee and was not the one who made the determination to not continue but the doctors.
Twitter at times is the equivalent to drunk dialing. Just because the thought or urge abounds does not mean it’s prudent to act. Having these tools so readily available has a detrimental side. Trust me, I have littered the relationship highway on that one.
Conversely, I only have to look to recent events in Egypt to know social networks will bring social change. It was Twitter that created mass unison, allowed for voices to be heard immediately, and flow seamless across all geographic and social economic lines. The power is truly with the people. Even though the Egyptian government shut down all lines of communication, the sentiment and strength remained.
Remember, there may be only 140 characters to push out your message, but what you say can be all the difference in the world.
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