You Have A Choice !!

Have you been watching social media lately? Even if you aren’t on the forums, the media makes sure to share tweets from political candidates. There’s one consistent feel to the majority of what is being shared – negativity.

Honestly, most of what we consume is negative. We either swim in it willingly, or we get frustrated because it seems that we can’t escape it. What is ironic is that we’re expected to make a decision on things like an election by all sides slinging mud at each other. It isn’t only politics. Stories of the failures of others makes up the majority of our “news,” and we don’t cover all items – just the ones that are the grimiest.

A great friend of mine and I had an exchange this week on social media where he stated that he might just stop participating on the forums because all he sees is negativity. It was a solid observation, but I jumped in and challenged him. I agree that there is so much darkness that is around us, but I think you can be genuinely positive.

choiceYou have a choice !!

One of the choices you have, which my friend shared, is to step away and stop being active on social media. I’m floored by the number of my peers who used to encourage and espouse the value of social media who are now silent. I miss hearing their perspective and insights. I respect this choice, however I would much rather hear from them.

Another choice is how you use social media. Every time you get on a social media platform, you have a moment before you post. It may be a brief moment, but it exists. Instead of instantly lashing out and reacting to what someone says, step back and think. Then respond.

I don’t feel comfortable in throwing out extreme views, although I understand why people share them. When you’re as emotionally vehement in return, why are you surprised when people dig in on their sides of an argument?

When I respond, I choose to be positive. It’s not hard for me to do, but it goes against the tide of the majority of messages. I think that going against the flow is what is needed – especially on these forums. You have to trust me that I’m not naive or sheltered on what is happening in the world today. However, adding to the negativity of a situation only continues to pile on and drive it further down.

People are looking for an alternative voice, and that voice is positivity. I’m not talking about puppies and unicorns. I am talking about seeing what’s good in others and how to arrive at solutions. I am talking about having discussions, and even disagreements, on items. I am talking about lifting others up to encourage them and show them that they can contribute, add value and succeed.

This is the choice I make when I use Social Media. Will you join me in going against the flow? I hope you do. You just have to make a choice.

Be An Influencer !!

I’ve been active and visible on Social Media forums for many years now. I enjoy them immensely and find them to be great methods of connecting with others across the globe, a simple mechanism to share the work of others and an overall great way to communicate. If you’ve been out here for any length of time, you see lists. The lists have great intent, but often bring up harsh emotions.

People struggle with lists if they aren’t included, and that reaction is senseless. One of the serious downsides to social media is that we are so fixed on wanting to see our name, face, and posts. We measure and obsess over the number of shares, likes, retweets and followers we have. It’s odd because they are just ways of measurement. How can something not have value if you’re not included ??

I understand that many folks use social media to conduct business, make sales and establish/maintain their brand. I’m all for it, but it gets way too much of our attention and it seems one-sided. A great example of this where you see people really jump is when people are considered “influencers” in these lists.

I have a feeling that the moment influencer lists are published, the doubt, skepticism and scoffing ensues. When it does, it’s brutal and unfortunate. I’m sure when people were compiling their lists, they had the hope that who they listed would be geeked and share that they were included. That happens, but the wave of sentiment against the lists far exceeds those who are excited.

InfluenceThe overall problem to all of this is that I think we’ve absolutely missed what influencing others means. It has so little to do with social media, but that’s where we feel it should be. Influence naturally lies within all of us. The question is whether we recognize and own it or not.

You see, in HR, we are rarely alone. We swim in a sea of people. Unfortunately, I hear too many of my peers complain about this constant reality. We miss the opportunity to truly “influence” people because we tend to down play our interactions with others. Instead, we give our attention to the situation or problem we’re addressing, and then coming up with some rock solid solution.

If the only reason you’re in HR is to solve other’s problems, change occupations.

People aren’t problems. We may all have problems and struggles in some fashion, but to immediately categorize someone as someone to fix, you have a negative view of humans.

Influence can be, and should be, positive !! When it’s used for negative reasons, it is often short lived but it also can do incredible damage. You have a choice to not allow influence to be used in that way. It’s incredibly difficult to be a positive influence in today’s workplace and society. However, it is what we are called to do.

You have the chance to influence every, single person you come across. Not one person should pass you by without you interacting with them. Not one. That may seem daunting, but it’s very doable with some effort and the desire to be intentional. Something as simple as a smile, a “Hello”, and the willingness to stay and listen to how they respond, may seriously make all the difference they needed that day.

That small action is more influential than any list on social media EVER will be !! The chance to be an influencer is available to you and it’s time you step in. People need your influence, and I can’t wait to see how you positively impact and change the lives of those around you !!

 

Stay True !! #TimSackettDay

I remain fascinated by the world of Social Media and how people in HR approach it. The majority of people are observers who may take in content every once in awhile, or venture out and tweet every so often. When HR conferences happen, people jump in full force and set up social media accounts and they are very active throughout the event. Then they fade back into the mix of the majority.

Staying visible and relevant in social media over time is tough because it takes endless energy, creativity and a willingness to keep the fire burning. I haven’t seen many examples of people who do this well with one exception – The Recruiting Animal !! He was a social media pioneer and he has stayed true to who he is from the minute he burst onto the scene.

Recruiting AnimalIf you aren’t connected to The Animal (@animal on Twitter), you should be. However, be warned that you better have thick skin. If I had to describe Animal it would be “what boundaries” ?? He has a long running blog talk radio show and he is very upfront with his guests that this won’t be a soft, self-serving interview where you both stroke each other about how awesome you are. He cuts to the quick and expects you to be prepared. Some people are taken aback by this approach, but Animal doesn’t sway. He stays true to his approach, and it’s incredibly refreshing !!

Social media has become more about “look at me, look at me” than “look at others”. Animal has always looked out for the profession and has move recruiting forward more than others. His brash style runs counter to many folks who love hanging in the middle of the road.

I’ve chatted with Animal once in awhile and we’re connected on Social Media platforms all over. He was (and is) an inspiration and a model to me because I dig his authenticity. I wanted to reach out and connect with the person behind the ventriloquist dummy avatar, and I’m glad I did !! He’s a thoughtful, passionate and insightful person. His desire to keep people alert and moving is needed in HR, recruiting and the profession as a whole !!

One of the best ties I have with Animal is that he, John Sumser, Sylvia Dahlby and I share eclectic and vast music tastes. On a regular basis we share our “finds” on twitter under the #HRMusicShare tag. I look forward to seeing what Animal digs up and make sure that I reciprocate.  We haven’t grown this little faction of the hashtag. We’ve stayed true to how it organically started, and I dig that !!

I want to wish Animal a happy #TimSackettDay !! You rock my friend and I appreciate you modeling how to be authentic and genuine. I have a bucket list wish to be on your blog talk radio show sometime. And trust me, I’ll be prepared !!

Here’s a find for you that I hope you enjoy on your day !! Always stay true to yourself my friend !!

Be a Student !!

I’m a big proponent of Social Media. The various forums give us a variety of ways to communicate, connect and learn from each other. It can be overwhelming at times because it comes at us from every angle and during every moment of the day.

What intrigues me though is how people approach Social Media. I find that most people present ideas, opinions and perspectives that I would not have necessarily come up with myself. I enjoy looking at the material I see as a way to build the amount of knowledge that we can use.

One thing that is challenging in how people use Social Media is when people are critical. Not in the way of poking at the status quo, but in the way where their style, or form of sharing. is to tear everything down. There are no areas that are off limits and the more critical the better. Very few solutions are offered and it is really disheartening when I see the tone of blogs tear people down.

I value hearing from others who don’t look at things the way I do. The fact is this happens every single day all around me. I don’t need Social Media to get that. I do think that Social Media has a “critical” feel to it because we spend the majority of our days being critical of each other and the experiences we have. This isn’t to point fingers. It’s an observation and one I’m guilty of as well.

It’s exhausting and not productive. When you think that you’re spending so much time being critical when you could take a different approach. I heard a piece of advice this week that hit me directly and made me want to change. Here it is . . .

Be a student and not a critic.

LearnThe thought is to learn from others instead of critiquing what they say, or who they are. This may seem passive, but I don’t think so. Hearing other’s points of view does not necessarily mean you agree with them. However, it also doesn’t mean that you tear what they say apart only because it differs from your beliefs.

This is essential in HR. One of the biggest roles you have on a daily basis is being a counselor. You are in a position where you hear the good, the bad and the ugly of people’s lives. If you take the posture of being critical, you will always see the dark side of what you’re facing. You can’t help it because you assume that the worst will surely occur.

You have a choice. You can listen, synthesize and respond to people, or you can critique, judge and react. This is true for all people in organizations and in life. I know that even in writing this people will be critics. My choice is to be the student.

I’d rather learn from you, get to know you and have a relationship with you. Even though our thoughts and opinions may differ, I can still learn. This week I ask you to stop being a critic, and start being a student.

The Wisdom of Tide Pools !!

I am a big fan of Social Media. I use most of the well known forums liked Twitter, Facebook and Linked In. I dabble in Instagram and Pinterest, and am always interested in watching other platforms to see what they offer. I think they’re an incredible way to communicate with people globally and they provide avenues to connect that we didn’t have in the past.

I know there’s a negative side to Social Media and the way I look at it is just like all areas of life. If you want to find the dark side of something, you’re sure to find it. I choose not to – ever. I use the great wisdom of Eric Idle from Monty Python – “Always look on the bright side of life !!” (double exclamation points are my addition, always wanted to be a Python)

The biggest challenge for me is taking note of how I use my time on Social Media. It’s easy to get bombarded with friend requests, likes, invitations, retweets, etc. It can grab your attention and take it away from other things. Let me share a story . . .

This past week I was on vacation with my family in San Diego. It was our first time there and we rented a condo that sat up high enough on a hill to see the rolling waves of the Pacific Ocean. We took in the phenomenal San Diego Zoo our first full day and I took tons of pictures of the animals and the park. The second day we went to Coronado Island and the beach. Again, incredible and tons of pics. I felt compelled to post a few !! The third day we ventured to Cabrillo National Monument which is a National Park.

Tide PoolWe decided to see the tide pools before the monument, lookout and light house. To get to the tide pools, you hike up and down the cliffs alongside the Pacific as the waves do their best to erode the shoreline every few seconds. It was physically challenging, but I wouldn’t have missed it. The views were panoramic and inspiring. We took our time and were careful as we worked our way over to the area where the pools were formed inside a rock ledge. As the kids and my wife were taking pics of their own, I leaned over one of the pools and said to my wife, “Debbie, you have to see this !! It’s beautiful !!”

And . . . then I slipped and slid down into the tide pool. I panicked and tried to push off the bottom, but never felt it. I was up to my chest (and I’m 6’4″) when I grabbed hold and pulled myself out of the tide pool. The kids yelled “Phone !! Camera !!” I yanked them out of my cargo shorts, but they were blank, black rectangles. My “swim” took less than 30 seconds.

I was safe but drenched. Everyone around asked if I was okay, and I was thankful I was. I’ve seen many posts from my friends about the need to be unplugged from Social Media and I agree with them. I’ve taken breaks, but I’ve never had one taken for me. It seems that my slip broke the chain I didn’t know I had.

When we got back on the trail to see the rest of the National Park, Debbie reminded me that I lost a phone and camera, but she could have lost me. I was only a few feet from dropping down into the ocean. A sober reminder.

The break was what I needed because it was life before Social Media and technology. The rest of the trip was better than the beginning !! We saw one of my past Eagle Scouts who is training with his brother at the Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista to try and make the Archery Team for the 2016 games in Rio. We climbed the California Tower at the San Diego Museum of Man and saw the Museum of Photographic Arts in Balboa Park, and we enjoyed delightful food and picturesque sunrises and sunsets.

I was missing the reason that I post, blog, tweet, etc. in the first place and that’s the people in my life. I learned a great lesson from that tide pool. It’s not the technology that’s a problem, it’s how I choose to use it.

I plan to take this lesson to heart from now on.

 

You’re Involved !!

This past weekend I had the opportunity to attend the SHRM Regional Business Meeting with all of the State Council Directors from around the country.  It is one of my favorite events to attend in my role with the MAC.  It’s a fave because the group of volunteer leaders that attend this are “all in” !! They help provide direction for their State Councils as well as the SHRM HR Chapters throughout their State.

There’s real value when you’re around people who share the same experiences you are having.  This year the entire event had a positive vibe because people came wanting to have their voices heard, share their ideas and opinions with each other and the SHRM Staff, and see movement.  There was definite movement and I’m geeked to see the Society listen and act.

A quick side note . . .

If you aren’t a member of SHRM, or a local chapter, and you’re in HR, you should reconsider.  Getting involved yourself is how things get better.  The more you’re engaged, the more you can share your insight, advice and experiences.

We had a great example of how being involved helps you both professionally and personally.

One of the presentations was with the SHRM Public Affairs folks about Social Media. It’s funny, but as someone who’s fairly active in social media forums, you fall into the trap that others are as involved at the same level you are.  I know that isn’t the case, but you lose sight of this.

There’s been a real wall put up by those of us in HR involved in social media pointing towards those who aren’t as active.  We’ve done one of two things – we’ve either tried to engage and embrace them, or we chide them for not being as “fully” involved as we are.  Social media should NEVER be an obstacle to HR.

90-9-1 RuleAndrew Morton, who heads up the Social Media efforts at SHRM, gave the attendees a refreshing and different perspective.  He told us about the 90-9-1 rule of social interactions in communities and forums.  It states that 90% of people on Social Media observe (lurk) as their level of involvement in social media. 9% comment (edit) the posts and content they see out on these forums and 1% create content.  He used a great video (The First Follower) to make his point.

His contention, and I absolutely agree with him, is that it’s great to be in the 99% when it comes to Social Media because you are still involved !!  You don’t have to be the 1% who creates and shares content.  It’s a misconception and shouldn’t keep you from being active in the 99%.

The video talks about the Lone Nut and his First Follower.  It shows that there’s more power in stepping out and connecting where you feel comfortable. You may always stay in the 90%.  You may move to the 9%.  And, who knows, you might be one of those lone nuts who creates and shares content !!

The key is to remember is that you ARE involved already !!  So, relish that, leverage that and make social media a part of how you engage, learn and advance HR !!

 

V is for Victorio !! #TimSackettDay

As you scan the HR Universe, you hear a ton of skepticism, negativity and angst.  It can be draining and you sometimes wonder if there are HR practitioners who actually enjoy what they do !!

Victorio MilianToday, we recognize someone who is not only an example of Positive HR, but he also gives us a cool vibe, a social consciousness and a sweet mix of creative chaos !!  That person is my friend, Victorio Milian.

I met Victorio a few years ago at the HRevolution event in Atlanta.  He introduced himself in his soft tone and made me feel at ease because it was my first time to attend.  I was drawn to him because it was obvious that Victorio took the time to get to know you when he met you.  We jumped past the small talk of initial introductions and dove into deeper conversations.  As I watched him interact with others throughout the weekend, I noted that this is how he approached every interaction.

I dig my friend because he chooses to truly take in life, hold it for a bit, review it and then describe his experience in meaningful ways.  This could be when he describes his beautiful family or his deep love for his beloved New York City.

Victorio is an amazing HR practitioner who cut his teeth on doing HR in the retail world.  There are many HR pros who steer clear of the retail/hospitality world because of the inherent challenges that this industry offers.  Not Victorio.  He was in his element.  He takes risks and looks at traditional HR and recruiting methods with a different view.  The key thing in how Victorio practices HR is that he focuses on people first – every time.

He’s an incredible writer, thoughtful conference speaker and serious music freak.  He was key in encouraging me to start the #HRMusicShare hashtag and we share musical choices on a regular basis.

For those of you out there wondering why the HR Social Media community is recognizing one of our own today, that is what #TimSackett day is all about.  It’s always cool to shine some light on those that make people, and our field, better.  Victorio is definitely someone who does both of those things.

My friend and I still have in-depth conversations on a regular basis just as we did when we met years ago.  He is someone I treasure and someone you should definitely listen to and connect with !!  He’s one of my must reads on his Creative Chaos HR blog.  Check him out.

I would be remiss if there wasn’t some music involved to wrap this post for my friend.  I picked a tune that oozes with creativity, peace and cool.  Happy #TimSackettDay V  !!  Cue the turntable . . .

 

Carnival of HR: Make HR Better Edition !!

It’s time once again for the Carnival of HR !!  I asked people to submit posts and give their thoughts on “HR would be better it . . .”

I was honestly overwhelmed by the incredible response !!  This edition contains posts from some HR bloggers you see on a regular basis as well as some that are “new” voices that you need to take in. (Make sure you scroll through the whole page so you don’t miss any of them !!)

Before I list the links to these fab posts, I want to share how I’d make HR better . . .

Idea LightsIt’s simple and the Carnival is a great example.  I have this audacious goal to connect all HR people together around the world.  A great way to do this is to share other’s work on a regular basis as well as connect with the bloggers on purpose.  So, as you read the works included, follow the authors on Twitter, look for them on Linked In and connect with them going forward.  I enjoy each of the folks who submitted and hope you do as well !! Let’s see how they would make HR better !!

Gem Reucroft (@HR_Gem on Twitter) stuck straight with the theme and I dig that !! HR would be better if . . .

Doug Shaw (@dougshaw1 on Twitter) keeps things simple, yet profound with Three Little Words.

Keith Gulliver (@KeithGulliver on Twitter) follows suit with simplicity in Better If . . .

Kristina Minyard (@HRecruit on Twitter) encourages us to see if our perspective on HR is positive or negative in Pride and Perspective.

Heather Kinzie (@LeadingSolution on Twitter) jumps alongside and asks us to be committed in her How I Would Make HR Better post.

Justin Harris (@UnlikelyHRGuy on Twitter) asks folks to Recruit Different.

David Kovacovich (@DavidKovacovich on Twitter) wants us to have perspective on how policies affect HR in Is Policy the Enemy of Trust?

David D’Souza (@dds180 on Twitter) offers insight if you’re starting out your career in HR with Making HR Better (or not making it worse)

Mary Faulkner (@mfaulkner43 on Twitter) wants all of us to join in Making (HR) Leaders Better !!

John Sumser’s (@JohnSumser on Twitter) HR Examiner always has forward thinking posts like this one from Neil McCormick – My 2015 wishes for HR.

Jonathan Segal (@Jonathan_HR_Law on Twitter) shares his 8 New Year’s Resolutions for HR.

Maggie Frye (@Maggie_frye on Twitter) gave a step forward with the theme with her post HR Would Be Better If . . .

Dwane Lay (@DwaneLay on Twitter) moves us on the continuum of Resolution, Evolution, Revolution.

Nathan Hopper (@nathanhopper on Twitter) gives the theme a twist with HR – The New 4 Letter Word.

Robin Rothman (@robinlrothman on Twitter) adds great thoughts for Happy New Year 2015 and beyond for HR.

Jennifer Payne (@JennyJensHR on Twitter) is the facilitator of the fab Women of HR blog and she also has a look forward with 2015 . . .Welcome to the Future.

Julie Waddell (@jawaddell on Twitter) shares her insightful thoughts on I Would Make HR Better By . . .

Michael Carty (@MJCarty on Twitter) wants to see HR get more social on HR Directors need to up their game on data and social media

Neil Morrison (@neilmorrison on Twitter) about owning who we are in his post – It’s Not You, It’s Me

Joe Gerstandt (@joegerstandt on Twitter) asks us to be reflective on Start First With What You Believe

Heather Bussing (@heatherbussing on Twitter) shares resources and a broader perspective with 5 Books to Make HR (and Everything) Better

Sarah Williams (@TheBuzzonHR on Twitter) shares her view on How I Would Make HR Better

Ernie Tamayo (@ErnieTamayo on Twitter) breaks our filters with I’d Make HR Better . . . By Dropping the Millennial Stereotypes

Craig Farrell, a person looking to get into HR, shares HR Would Be Better If . . .

Chantal Bechervaise (@CBechervaise on Twitter) asks us to also simplify what we do with Back to Basics: Treating People As People

One of my fellow HR rockers, Peter Cook (@AcademyofRock on Twitter) puts a great musical spin on the theme with Punk Rock HR – A Manifesto for Better HR Strategy and Practice

Barb Buckner (@BarbBuckner on Twitter) shares really cool thoughts on her take on  HR Would Be Better If . . .

Liz daRosa (@lizdaRosa on Twitter) adds a positive spin on things with Let’s #MakeHRBetter

Joe Abusamra (@Joe Abusamra on Twitter) takes a talent angle with his post Stir the Talent Warehouse Pot – Nuture, Engage and Prosper

Lisa Rosendahl (@lisarosendahl on Twitter) wants us to look at things differently with Changing the HR Story

Neil Usher (@workessence on Twitter) has a manifesto that we all could follow !! – A manifesto for everyone

Elizabeth Lalli-Reese (@TXStrategicHR on Twitter) gives our theme a healthy spin with Start the New Year Right: Workplace Wellness

Mike Haberman (@MikeHabweman on Twitter) gives some succinct advice to us with Advice for HR to Live by: Just Stop It!

Ian Welsh (@ianclive on Twitter) looks at this year and ahead with How Can We Make HR Better for 2015 and Beyond?

Sabrina Baker (@SabrinaLBaker on Twitter) has an optimistic take on things with The Biggest Opportunity Facing HR in 2015

Jessica Miller-Merrell (@jmillermerrell on Twitter) offers a great approach with Be a Lean, Mean, Creative Recruiting Machine in 2015

A fun and creative look at HR from Liz d’Aloia (@HRVirtuoso on Twitter) with Lead Like Carol Burnett

Robin Schooling (@RobinSchooling on Twitter) comes with one of our fave catch phrases with I’m from HR. And I’m Here to Help.

Broc Edwards (@brocedwards on Twitter) asks if it’s possible for Making HR Better?

Melissa Fairman (@HrRemix on Twitter) gives us The Only Quote You Need in 2015

Ben Eubanks (@beneubanks on Twitter) encourages us to Develop an HR State of the Union Address

Tanveer Naseer (@TanveerNaseer on Twitter) asks Did We Succeed in Putting Our Employees First?

Sharlyn Lauby (@hrbartender on Twitter) wants HR to Embrace Organizational Outsiders

Love Ben Martinez’s (@HRHound on Twitter) approach with 3 Words to Ditch Your New Year’s Resolutions

Kyle Jones (@KyleMJ6977 on Twitter) wants us to Be Better Than Yesterday

Fun and different outlook from Peggy Hogan (@PurpleInkHR on Twitter) with HR Would Be Better If It Was Purple

Brad Galin (@bradgalin on Twitter) keeps things down to earth with Improvement begins at home!

A unique opportunity for HR from Steve Brewer from Burrt Jones & Brewer (@honestdesign on Twitter) – Why doesn’t the HR Department have more of a role in workplace design?

And to wrap this great compilation for this Carnival of HR, Carlos Escobar (@cescobar on Twitter) with an environmental twist We Need More Plants in Our Buildings

Make sure you connect with all of these great HR folks !!  I’ll be checking to see if you do because I want all of us to Make HR Better !!

 

 

 

 

Join the Carnival !!

This is the “post before the post” for this week.  I am hosting the Carnival of HR for January this coming Wednesday 1/14/15.

For those of you who are HR bloggers, this is a request for you to help me set a new standard for this great forum !!  Shauna Griffis (@HR_Minion on Twitter) has been the faithful behind the scenes facilitator of the Carnival for years.  She asks people to host and I’m GEEKED to do it once again !!

I have a theme I’d like you to follow, and it’s this.  Write a post on “HR would be better if . . .”

To participate do the following:

  1. Write a post, or share one from your site, that fits this theme.
  2. Think of how you’d like to see HR get better !!
  3. E-mail me a link to your site at: sbrowne@larosas.com and I’ll make sure you’re included !!
  4. Use the hashtag #makeHRbetter when sharing this month’s Carnival.

Now, here’s where I want to set a new standard !!

HR BlogsI think people are great at sharing their own posts, but we don’t share the work of others as much as we could.  I am a HUGE fan of other’s HR Blogs.  My Feedly reader has 150+ blogs that I read and share regularly.

I have a wild, audacious goal of connecting every HR professional in the world, and I’m going to get there someday.  So, I’d love to feature YOU and your site to the HR community.  I’d like to have the most posts ever for this month’s carnival, and I’d like to hear from my blogging friends from around the globe !!

I’ll be watching my inbox to look for your submission !!  Join me and join this carnival.  It’s time to curate and create community and I want YOU to be included !!

The Real #FF !!

As 2014 draws to a close, we take time to reflect on what was and what will possibly be for the coming year.

For those of you who are active on Twitter, there has been a hashtag called #FF which stands for “Follow Friday.”  It’s where people recommend others that are on Twitter for you to consider following.  When Twitter was in its infancy, this was huge every Friday and you’d see tweets flying so quickly that your head would spin.  People were excited to connect and see who else was out on the social platform.

Inevitably, you’d see the same names week after week because, like any system, there is a bell curve of activity.  There are many who are very visible, active and they do a great job of posting their material and the material of others.  There are also many who “lurk” and watch what people write and post.  Nothing wrong with lurking because I’m assuming that you are trying to see what has value to you and this allows you to filter what information you like and avoid that which you don’t.

There is also a significant group of people who dabble in social media because someone encouraged them to, but they lose interest quickly. For whatever reason, it just doesn’t capture enough of their attention to merit ongoing effort.  They may show up in a #FF once in a while, but they rarely reciprocate.

Friends and FamilyThis isn’t specifically a post about Social Media though.  You see this past week during the holidays was filled with the Real FF – Friends and Family !!  People gathered from all over to make sure to see each other and catch up.  These times of seeing people in person has immeasurable value.  It’s great to hear new stories or relive old memories surrounded by warmth and laughter.

In my case, these gatherings are also generational.  There are Grandparents, Aunt, Uncles, and cousins of various ages and from various backgrounds.  They live in urban settings, rural settings and suburban settings.  It’s a broad spectrum that continues to grow as the families grow.

Getting together with people in person is energizing for me. To take the time to get to connect with friends is something I look forward to every time I get to go to an event.  I am a big proponent of the #FF movement on Twitter and try my best to keep active because I believe these electronic introductions can lead to meaningful connections and friendships.

Going into to 2015, I hope to make more of the #FF that I do socially come to life in person.  I believe that the more intentional we are in making these connections become a reality, we experience that “friends and family” high of getting to know one another.

So, be on the lookout !!  I plan to make sure to rekindle existing friendships as well as develop new ones.  I hope that you are one of those #FF folks who truly becomes a friend.  Don’t be surprised when I find you !!  It will be magnificent !!