One of the highlights at Catalyst West for me was attending a lab session with Michael Hyatt- the CEO of Thomas Nelson Publishers. For almost a year I’ve followed Michael Hyatt through his blog and twitter, and have learned a lot from him, especially on the subject of leadership. 

The lab was about social media called, “Platform: What It Is, Why You Need It, and How to Build It”. 

 Lately I’ve been frustrated in this area wondering how manage this in my life- if even at all.  While I desire to blog and be apart of online communities, I often wonder if it’s the best use of my time and if it’s even worth keeping up.  Is it really that important? 

While listening to Michael talk about his reasons for it, I started feeling a sense of relief and freedom in this area.  I felt relief because most of what he said to do I am already doing so I wasn’t overwhelmed with new things to add-on, and freedom because I began to understand more of the value in it and see that it is worth my time. 

A few things he said that really stuck with me about how social media are: (paraphrased)

  • There is a difference between a platform & pedestal.  The best platforms are built by a tribe not a single leader.
  • Social Media is growing because of our [human] need to connect with others, and it’s not going away anytime soon.
  • Without vision technology is useless, with it, it’s priceless.

Whenever technology seems overwhelming, it’s easy to think about how things were sans internet, texting, facebook, etc.  But, whether life is better with or without it, I think the argument is pointless since we are only moving forward faster. 

The way we relate to one another is changing, but that doesn’t mean the change is bad, just different.  To keep up we have to learn to connect and communicate in the best ways possible.  I can choose to live in the past and wish we could work our way back (which we won’t) or embrace it and use it as a tool for good and positive change.  I am choosing the latter.

How about you?  Do you like social media or do you get overwhelmed by it?  Do you feel more connected to people now?

To continue reading more about this subject, check out Michael Hyatt’s blog.  He wrote a great follow-up from his talk at the conference called, “How Do Busy Leaders Find Time for Social Media?”

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