My Thanksgiving was pretty enlightening. I will probably be fired from my family for writing this, so I hope there is someone out there willing to adopt me! The holiday began with my flight being cancelled. Considering my awful experience with Delta, I was not very confident I was going to get to my family at all.
Then I found out I was only booked as standby on my rebooked flight. This was an interesting moment for me. I had the ability to send out a Tweet to 114K people that would tell the world just how much I hated Delta. In my moment of realizing I took at $70 cab ride to an airport that I might not even be flying out of ON Thanksgiving, it was incredibly tempting. I resisted, and sent out an only partially frustrated Tweet.
Three hours later, after tons of drama between everyone stuck at La Guardia on Thanksgiving and the airlines, a God thing happened. I was able to be booked on a flight that would arrive sooner, and land in a city closer to the town my family lives in. Oh, and I also received a voucher for taking it. Boom.
Now, what would have happened if I had sent out the profane, aggressive Tweet I wanted to about Delta in my moment of anger and frustration? I would have looked like quite an ass when I ended up being booked on a better flight, and received an reward for my patience. (Kudos to Delta’s social team for being awesome, online and alert during Thanksgiving, btw.)
Now, back home, my mom was struggling to make a homemade Thanksgiving dinner by herself, since my original flight was cancelled. On top of that, she was trying to cook the turkey around my constantly changing arrival time. She handled it like a pro, though, and was able to get me at the airport.
Then, we got home, and realized someone had turned the oven off in the midst of getting Marji from the airport. Needless to say, we had an amazingly delicious Thanksgiving meal full of wonderful sides, but no turkey.
Then came family photo time. And that is the moment that the family feud began. Grandpa announced the household that he would no longer be in any photos that would be going on the internet. Period. (Mind you, these photos were for my Instagram.) A rant than ensued that photos do not belong online, blah, blah, blah, with a lovely finale of how incredibly ridiculous ALL social media is.
I stood there, speechless. While this might sound just like a typical rant from a 90 year old man to anyone else, this was a direct hit on my very profession from one of the most important people in my life. As I sat there in complete shock, my mom took over the conversation.
It was during this discussion that my mom said something that absolutely blew my mind. My lovely mother said: “Dad, remember the photos that Mom used to keep in her wallet of Marji and the girls? She loved to take them out and show them to everyone she talked to. Marji posting photos of us on Facebook is no different. She wants people to see her family, just like Mom wanted to show off her grandchildren.” Boom. Five minutes later, we were posing for photos with the mutts.
I was so engrossed in taking his outrage over my profession personally, that I didn’t even do MY JOB of relating social media back to him. I just gave up. I think this happens more than we think with social media. Instead of being patient and trying to figure out a new way to describe it to company, boss or friend that might not understand it, we blame them for being ignorant and walk away. Yes, we have a responsibility to be experts in our field, but we also have a responsibility to educate others in ways that relate to THEM, not just to us.
Thank God for a patient mom that could step in during my moment of frustration and my own form of ignorance, and relate social media to a conservative, 90 year old man. Thank God for people that have the patience and understanding to rephrase concepts and ideas in relatable ways. We all should try to be like them a little more.
Do you have any analogies that have helped during your moments explaining social media to companies, bosses, friends, family? Comment below 🙂
– Marji J. Sherman