Social Media Is Dead.

At Glow we are gifted an annual office closing from Christmas Eve through New Year’s Day. Being Jewish, I spend the Christmas holiday with other orphaned NYC’ers eating Chinese food, watching movies and doing my best to avoid the Mitzvah Tank that prowls the streets lurking for stranded Jews with hopes of injecting some good ole orthodox religion into our lives.

Over Christmas most of my friends were out of town  and while the streets may have been quiet and empty, the overall feeling was anything but. Thanks to my other friend…the Internets!

It’s times like this that being connected is nice. It allows you to have a greater appreciation for what social media can do for grandparents or friends whose lives have taken them to places remote and far away.  In NYC its easy to become spoiled and take for granted how close everything and everyone is.

Once Christmas had ended and everyone had landed back in New York, the second half of my annual ‘week off’ was to begin. I planned a ski trip to Vermont with a fairly large group of my closest friends. After having spent the last few New Years in NYC, I was ready to avoid the crowds and do something slightly more low-key.

With the expectation that I’d have to do some work over break, I brought my computer and all my gadgets. Even without the expectation of work, parting with these things can bring about a great deal of anxiety. I know… pathetic.

Upon arriving at our cabin, I realized that – much to my chagrin- we had no Wifi. Panic set in.  I calmed myself with the knowledge that I was with friends (and humans) and my reliance on my devices would be pushed aside by quality time with people I cared about. As I went about my week, in the beautiful mountains of Vermont – skiing, building fires, cooking food, playing board games etc. I found what I had originally viewed as a ‘disconnection’ became contrarily, refreshing. By week’s end, I hadn’t so much as glanced at my laptop.

It wasn’t until I got home and saw my Facebook wall, Tumblr blog, Instagram posts and tweets that I realized… I hadn’t disconnected at all. We talk about social media as though it’s a special thing that takes place in a vacuum. The truth is that social media doesn’t exist. ‘Social Media’ is a behavior, an attribute that we apply to forms of media, which have existed for a very long time.

The ubiquity of distribution and sharing by individuals has contributed to the erosion of this notion of ‘connected’ and ‘not connected’. In turn, the distinction between ‘media’ and ‘social media’ should erode as well.

If you are still relegating your social media team to some far away understaffed corner of your office in 2012, you’re doing something wrong. Your social teams of 2012 should be integrated and with the rest of your marketing department and have an equal voice at the table.

Social media is dead because it never actually existed. The truth is that your marketing departments needed to label something they didn’t understand. They stopped evolving and the new kids at the table needed a title. Assimilate your teams and let knowledge sharing trickle up and down. 2012 is going to be a fascinating year – start it off right.

Categories: Social Media