The Next Phase of Social Media

By Posted in - Social Media on February 17th, 2011 0 Comments

Last Saturday, I bought my first car on my own. The lady who sold me the car took a picture of me standing beside it on her smartphone. She said she would find me on Facebook and send the photo to me. I assumed that I would have a new friend request from her, and she would tag me in the photo or post it to my wall.

But little did I know, she was able to find me using only my name and send the photo to me using her @facebook.com e-mail address. Her message with the photo was delivered right into my e-mail inbox – not on Facebook – without her knowing my e-mail address. And she didn’t even have to add me as a friend.

It was interesting to me that she was embracing one of the most popular social media platforms to communicate, while also making my first car-buying experience a memorable one.

I remember when I joined the social media world. It was 2003, and I was one of the first people in my group of friends to sign up for Myspace. Until around 2008 when social media really took off, it was always funny to see people who behaved totally different online than they did in real life. It was easy to post only the pictures and details about yourself you wanted others to see. Social media gave people the opportunity to explore different personalities and be whoever they wanted to be online.

Now, it’s not just Internet-savvy teenagers who are on social media. It seems like everyone is online. And more and more we’re seeing the option to link our various online accounts, and even e-sign electronic documents using Facebook.┬áJust like in real life, our personal and professional lives are being blended online, and most people would probably find it difficult to separate the two.

Until last weekend, I had only heard about Facebook’s e-mail capability. I thought it was an interesting concept and wondered if people would start replacing their personal or work e-mail addresses (or both) in favor of communicating completely over Facebook.

So, is it just me, or is online integration unavoidable? I don’t mind using my social media accounts for both personal and business use, but should there be a line? I’d like to hear about others’ experiences on taking their social media activities to the next level.

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