It’s a polarizing world we live in. There are many “hot takes”. Meaning, someone makes a claim that grabs attention. That claim often is just a take—an opinion if you will. It could be a good take, it could even be a fact. But mostly, it’s an opinion.
And a hot take we hear quite often is based on a narrative that has been created. And before I explain what it is, I’ll say, it has some truth to it. But it’s also completely false and a bad take.
How can something have some truth but also be false? Well, I like to think there isn’t always one answer to everything. Basically, it just depends.
So what’s this hot take?
Here it is…
Social media is disconnecting us.
Now there’s a lot to unpack in such a small sentence. I’m not going to get into the science of it. So I’ll tell a quick story with a real-life example.
But first let me explain that if someone is using social media to waste time and make themselves feel bad about themselves or to bring negative into their life while not doing something productive instead, then yes, there’s truth to the disconnecting part. See what I mean. This hot take pulls in two directions.
Now here’s the other direction… (the story).
About 2 months ago (from publishing this article), I randomly checked my LinkedIn. One could say, I was wasting time. Or was I?
I see an update from a connection I have. And it said…
I know some people in this area. My company, KazCM usually outsources the high-end video production work. One person we would work with is out of state and on such short notice, wouldn’t be able to do the work. We connected Mike to Glenn Boothe who I know would do a great job. The day before Mike was in town, Glenn and he connected. And 24 hours later, the video work was complete.
Now you’re thinking, great, two people were connected by a recommendation. That’s been happening since the beginning of time.
It gets better…
While there was some randomness to me seeing Mike’s post on LinkedIn, he was a connection and that’s somewhat normal. But where did this start?
Anchor is an app that about two years ago was seemingly an audio style Twitter with a hint of podcasting. The app didn’t really know what it was. Today it is more of a podcast app with some social media. In fact, Spotify just bought Anchor (and Gimlet). That’s a big deal.
I was checking out this app early on and I heard people leaving few minute audio clips (called Waves). I heard this one guy talk about how Bill Belichick, the coach of the New England Patriots is a case study for how to handle a legal deposition. Now, I’m no Pats fan. But I am a fan of sports. And I love a good comparison, analogy, intersection if you will between sports and business (see SportsEpreneur.com, our content platform). So this little audio clip got me.
In Anchor, like Twitter, you could reply—with audio. Almost like leaving someone a voicemail.
I told the person what I thought of this audio clip and that I was interested in learning more.
As it turns out, the person that left the audio clip about Belichick was an attorney in Miami, Florida as I could see from his Anchor profile.
We had some good back and forth on Anchor, then moved it to LinkedIn and Twitter and Instagram, and email, then a phone call. And then he was a guest on our podcast Entrepreneur Perspectives—two times.
And then… he was coming to Charlotte as an attorney to record a podcast episode with Nick Shaw of Renaissance Periodization for Mike’s Game 7 Podcast. And he needed video work done to which he got. And then…
He came to our office and spent the afternoon and evening with us.
We chatted about sports, business, marketing, social media, branding, more sports, and we talked about the statement I mentioned at the beginning. You know the one where people state that social media is disconnecting us?
And then Mike Elkins said while looking at his phone…
“I feel pretty connected right now!”
Here we were in my office in Charlotte, North Carolina and in the office was Mike Elkins, the attorney who lives in Miami, Florida. A person I met two years ago on a social media app called Anchor. And John Priore, a content marketer who works for us who scored an internship with us on Twitter and eventually turned that into a full-time job.
If not for social media, I do not meet Mike Elkins. If not for social media, John Priore probably doesn’t work for us.
Now I know there are some CFO’s saying, great, what does that mean money wise. Now for John, that’s easier because he is in our company. But for Mike, it’s not. What’s the ROI on Mike?
To which I say, you are completely missing the point. This isn’t about getting a return on our investment for every person we meet. I’m not in this to game people—only seeing them as a means to an end. Sure, we all need revenue and income. But this is the game. Building amazing relationships–and sometimes with people you otherwise would never have met.
Who knows where it all goes, but it’s that dynamic relationship with what to many are these invisible rewards. It’s branding. It’s who knows what can come from it.
Already, Mike has introduced us to a marketing person that is looking for new work. And he has introduced us to someone that needs marketing support.
Mike will be collaborating with us on content for SportsEpreneur.com.
And it all started with an app many people never heard of that doesn’t even exist in the same way that it did when we connected.
Sure, you can waste a lot of time and energy on social media. But if you can see it for what it can do and not see it as an ROI and then use it for the positive it can be, I believe…I take that back, I know it can do amazing things for you, your business, and the people you can meet.
I’ll finish with this. Have you ever read an amazing book? Or heard an amazing speaker? Or talked to an incredible person? And from that you were better in some way as a result?
I’ll assume the answer is yes to at least one of those questions.
What was your ROI on that book, that presentation, that person?
Like Mike, “I feel pretty connected right now!”