Last Friday, I took my daughter horseback riding. Itâ€™s her new passion. Itâ€™s my old passion.
There we were on the trail with Fred, a 63-year-old wrangler with flowing white hair and a long white beard and mustache. He looks like something out of an 1890s western show.
Fred is a good man. Taught my daughter well this summer how to be confident on a horse. Sheâ€™s really a different child after the experience. But, this is about networking and friendship.
Toward the end of the ride, Fred turned in his saddle, looked at me and said, â€œyou on that Facebook thing?â€ I figured Fred was asking because he didnâ€™t know what it was. I said no. Iâ€™m engaged in different types of social networking, just not Facebook.
â€œToo bad. We could have been Facebook friends and you could have kept track of me over the winter.â€
Add this to the fact that Iâ€™ve been entirely out of the loop with the baseball team families all year because Facebook is how they communicate. My husband always knows whatâ€™s going, but I donâ€™t.
I counsel my clients to have a good strategic business reason to use social technology. I rant about having strong goals and objectives that meet business needs first. Iâ€™d be a hypocrite if I used a technology that I have no strategic need for. Finding all those old friends who didnâ€™t stay in the circle is not my priority.
Now, Iâ€™ve finally been pulled by a strategic need. I cannot keep track of what my close friends and childrenâ€™s friendsâ€™ families are up to. I am uninformed. Iâ€™m peripheral. I need to be plugged in, even if itâ€™s just to know when I need to be doing stuff, like driving Max to practice.
And so, as my friend and client said to me today, â€œwelcome to the 21st Century.â€ Iâ€™m there now. Iâ€™m in Facebook. Heck, if a 63-year-old cowboy finds strategic use in it, surely I can too.