You do WHAT for a living?
So here’s the story.
A couple of months ago I traveled to my hometown for Summer Holidays, which meant that I also had the opportunity to meet with some of my schoolmates – Class of ’92 – for the first time after 23 years.
How it all started
Like any other 40-year-old, I went to Facebook and “shouted out” on our school group that I was planning to visit, and if anyone was available to meet. A great friend took care of everything, contacted everyone, and finally she arranged a little brunch reunion on a Sunday morning. It was not an easy task as we are all scattered around the world.
And there we were; only twelve but “good old” schoolmates reunited again. It was really nice and easy to see each other again. With the little time that we had, we didn’t need to spend hours talking about our kids, or our husbands, as we already knew all about them from our Facebook profiles.
So we went for gossiping. We talked about Renée Zellweger’s new face and stuff like that until the focus was all on me. I was the only one “not around” for 23 years after all and, of course, they started by asking what I did for a living. My answer was simple and short. I’m a social media manager.
“Wait, a what?” – They asked.
Yes, I thought everyone knew what a social media manager was, but I guess I was wrong. With all the futuristic technology jobs that actually exist, social media management could be falling into the “old 2.0” category by now.
My short explanation: “I promote brands on social networks”.
Their reaction: “¿¿¿???”
They’re all professional Facebook users. All of them knew Twitter, although none of them used it. Some of them knew about Pinterest boards and food photos on Instagram. And about Google Plus… “Google what?”
“Yeah, I get that a lot”. – I said.
Even though I’m familiar with the slightly different culture, I was surprised to learn how it differs so much from what I’m used to, and in spite of the technology advances, it has evolved at a different pace.
Social networks that are so popular here are not so popular there. Except for Facebook. It’s too popular. (Camera shutter sounds now!)
I realize that I live in a virtual reality; I have virtual friends and virtual connections with real life conversations. I have learned, I have grown and I’ve even had the opportunity to develop professional relationships.
Long gone are the days when we had to travel to meet someone for a business meeting or a job interview. We are all closer than we could ever imagine.
I know there are many people still skeptical about this “online public sharing” or how “living a life online” can help you grow but thanks to that, many things can be set in motion right here and now.
It would be great to be able to meet with old friends or meet new people every day, close a business deal with a real handshake and kiss someone goodbye. Real relationships in real life are important but we don’t always have the time for them. We have jobs, our kids, our families. Ourselves.
People live too fast lately and opportunities can get lost if you are not in the loop.
Teleportation will always be an option. Eventually. But for the time being, a combination of virtual and reality is what we have.