Several months ago, I stumbled upon The HOLSTEE Manifesto, almost a verbatim prose of the way I try to live my life. It’s pretty amazing if you read it. Here is the latest installment on my thoughts… The next part is scheduled for next week. Enjoy!
If life is about the people you meet and the things you create with them, then many of the most creative people are likely the most sociable. Not to forget that some of the most creative geniuses were also recluses. I suspect they are the unusual and not the norm.
Critics of the digital universe complain that the media (including social media) destroys an important function of creativity – the spontaneity created by a face-to-face meeting. We would rather communicate via email rather than pick up the telephone; buy something online as opposed to talking (and negotiating with) a sales clerk; or even play a digital game of bowling instead of trekking to alley an enjoying an evening with fellow bowlers.
As much as I enjoy blogging and applaud the growing popularity of social media in general, these digital tools are no substitute for a close encounter of the best kind – sharing thoughts and ideas with someone in person. It’s extremely important to maintain perspective when it comes to the digital world and not substitute a virtual “second life” encounter for reality.
If you’ve ever sat in one of my Social Media or New Media Workshops, I preach that hiding behind an iPhone or MacBookPro is not a way to build relationships. In fact, it’s the opposite. Sure, relationships can be created and developed via these mediums, but sitting face to face is the way to make it happen. I also talk about the opposite – when someone says hi to you online via Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or your blog, it’s disrespectful to not reply. It’s like someone walking up to you, saying “Hello” and extending their hand for a shake, and you turning your back on them and walking away. Think about it.
If social media does one thing very well, it expands one’s opportunity to connect with people and to share ideas and thoughts. But it’s no substitute for good old fashioned, face-to-face meetings. Do you recall that United Airlines commercial years ago where a company president was handing out airline tickets to help his sales staff become reacquainted with clients?
United hit on a hot button that still exists to this day. Creativity, including successful selling, can be initiated over the phone, over the Internet, and even in a blog, but the best relationships are formed and retained when participants meet and create together in person. As you can guess, I’m not a fan of virtual trade shows either. Their cost efficiencies don’t offset what is lost and not created without a handshake.