I consider myself tech savvy and pretty open minded when it comes to embracing social media. I have profiles around the World Wide Web on LinkedIn, Google+, Facebook and Twitter. But there are a few "hot" trending platforms that I am, admittedly, reluctant to embrace for personal use.
I think I've developed an irrational fear of Foursquare, a mobile location-based check-in service. It's like having a LoJack on yourself. People "check-in" wherever they go. Why? I don't know. Call me crazy, but I don't want everyone to know where I am every minute of the day. Foursquare boasts 15 million users,1.5 billion check-ins, and allows users to "use mobile devices to interact with their environment." Similarly, Loopt, a similar free app for smart phones, allows users to "discover the world around them" and connect with friends at their favorite places. Loopt boasts 5 million users and was recently purchased for $43M cash by a prepaid debit card company. This really makes me wonder what all this tracking data being collected is going to be used for. Foursquare has potential practical uses by recruiters, as pointed out in several recent blog posts. Still, I'm not sold.
50 million users can't be wrong, right? Though Flickr touts itself as "almost certainly the best online photo management and sharing application in the world," I don't want all my pictures floating around on the Internet. It sounds cool and convenient to have an online photo album, but I like to know who's viewing my pictures. I can monitor that pretty easily (in theory) through my personal Facebook page. Flickr has a subscription service for those who exceed a certain account size limit and your account can be deleted if you don't login once every 90 days. I'm just not into paying for a monthly "host" when I can store my pics for free. It's too much to manage. There are, however some practical uses for Flickr for business, but I have not used it in a professional capacity yet.
Described as "Your Address Book for Life," Plaxo currently has over 15 million users. I do miss having an actual address book. Back in the day, I'd buy the really cute ones from Borders or Barnes & Nobles (Sidebar: back in the 1900s, there were edifices called bookstores). Nowadays, very few phone numbers are stored in my mental Rolodex and my cell phone serves as my mobile address book (I often end up searching my G-mail inbox for home addresses I've collected over the years). But what about when a phone dies or is killed when I drop it in a bucket of sudsy water while washing my car? An online address book would come in handy then, right? Probably. But I just don't want to go there. Even though it would keep me from having to send that message to all my contacts that I've received numerous times before - "Got a new phone. No numbers saved. Please send me your contact info (again)." For businesses, it seems Plaxo gets mixed reviews but appears to have some practical uses.
My biggest concern is I'll become too dependent on cloud computing. After I spend years uploading all my pictures, files, hopes and dreams, the cloud companies will no doubt begin charging exorbitant fees to maintain and sustain all my data. Then what option will I have other than (a) paying or (b) downloading it all (over what, 3 months) and maxing out 10-15 external drives? Gee willikers (old school for OMG).
I thought I was pretty cutting edge, but I guess we all have our limitations. Am I a GenX'er in denial? I thought I was more Digital Generation than old school, more George Jetson than Fred Flintstone.
Alas, I'm afraid I'll be an old fogey in 2052, still using the "search" feature in G-mail on my weathered iPad3 to find phone numbers of old friends. I'll pull up my Facebook page (if I can remember my login and password) and revisit pictures of myself in my heyday. No doubt my grandchildren will be unimpressed. "Grandma," they'll shout, "Get with the program!" I will adjust my hearing aid, and reply saucily, "Hmph. Back in my day, I was a trendsetter and a go-getter. An early adopter, in fact! I had a Twitter handle, a Facebook page, a YouTube Channel and an iPod full of apps! I had 15 boards on Pinterest and lead my friends in scoring in Words With Friends and Drawsome! I listened to BlogTalk Radio, had 100 Pandora stations, and even had a recruiting blog!"
I can already hear their chorus of chuckles.
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Maisha Cannon is a Senior Recruiter and Researcher committed to introducing employers to talent that will enhance and grow their businesses. Over the span of her 15 year career in Human Resources, Maisha has filled over 1,000 positions, and has coached hundreds of candidates on resume writing, interviewing skills, and career planning. She spends her free time blogging, engrossed in social media, and singing along to the thousands of songs in her iPod.