Social Media and Authenticity

As I try to get more of my Indiana HR colleagues involved in social media, I am finding that it is a slow and at times difficult task.  Those who are competitive and show a willingness to push the envelope with ideas and new innovations are aboard, even if they are not overly active.  Others, being more methodical, are not showing the enthusiasm to jump in and experience it for themselves.

As I get more involved, my level of enthusiasm continues to grow as I get to know people and make the real life connections that have started on-line.  During my time at HRevolution in Atlanta, I was struck by the authenticity that I experienced from everyone present.  Although many people who are not involved in social media feel that an on-line persona cannot be authentic, I believe it is the opposite since being on-line can provide a safe way to talk about our real self as we all continue to pursue our ideal self.  Trying to convey this to those unwilling (or unable) to jump in and try it continues to be a challenge.

The finish lineThe line between pushing limits and settling for status quo is a fine one and I am trying to straddle that now.  While wanting more of my HR colleagues to embrace social media and experience some of the community that is brings, I worry at the same time about the loss of authenticity that may come about as more people get more involved.  I may not have a legitimate concern as my own involvement is only one year old now and I hope that I have not been guilty of what I am worried about.  There are many good people in the social media sphere and I enjoy learning from them each day.  There is rarely a day now that I do not refer to someone within my social media circle as a resource for a workplace issue.  Because of the information richness it brings, I truly cherish having as many people as possible involved.

Despite the resistance that some give, I will continue to push more to be involved to make the social media space even richer for those already in it.  Of course, nothing beats personal connections and going beyond the computer to reach the real lives we all enjoy.  That still reigns supreme in establishing a solid authentic relationship.

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3 Responses to Social Media and Authenticity

  1. Brad, like with anything else, it’s all about the individual and the pace he/she is comfortable with. I remember when I found social media platforms and began interacting I wanted SO badly for all my HR colleagues to jump in with me. I saw the power it could have and wanted them to share in the information and networking. Sadly, that never happened. So, when I started a new job, I made it known that I use the tools, then I sat back and waited. Gradually, I found small opportunities to bring it up, work it in, share it with the new colleagues. They started asking for me to speak at all-HR meetings about things like Google Reader and slideshare. So I did. Each time, I throw out another nugget to entice them to be interested. It’s taken a bit of time but now, I’m thrilled when my colleagues tweet at me or forward me a link to someone’s blog post.

    You’ll get your HR colleagues and friends there with you. Just keep evangelizing (not pushing) and in the meantime, make the HRevolution relationships stronger. I’ve found that group of people to be sincere in their interest to involve more and more HR pros in ways to collaborate online. :)

  2. Brad,

    You are doing amazing things. Understanding and learning about social media takes time and working with our peers in the field can be very challenging, but I can see the increase in understanding and acceptance in the last 12 months alone. You are helping to drive that. Social media is not everyone’s cup of tea, and for me that’s okay. As long as you continue to drive conversations and allow for a forum or place for people to task questions, then you are doing the right things.


    • Thanks Jessica. Yes, I know it takes time and there has certainly been progress. When I see the possibilities of this medium, I am hopeful of the difference it can make.