Benefits?

As some may have read in the “about me” portion of my blog, I am a receptionist at the Downtown Athletic Club. While this may seem like a brainless-just-get-the-bills-paid kind of position, lately it has become my sounding board for opinions, thoughts and analysis of the “social media” topic that has been so widely discussed.

I have heard and read a lot about the positive implications of this forum in terms of business networking, communication with consumers, and the fact that there is now a medium for which open discussion can happen in real time. However, as one club member asked me in our conversation about it, “What price do we pay in terms of personal communication with a few in order to potentially reach thousands on a much less personal channel?”

In my opinion, the use of these outlets keeps me connected to the world around me. However, this is coming from someone who gets separation anxiety from my cell phone if I leave it at home. As Elizabeth Harney wrote in a recent post, “How much is too much?” And maybe more importantly, what are the future implications in the personal lives of PR professionals and the bloggers they are trying to reach with regard to the 24/7 industry social media has become? Sally Whittle touches on this in her Getting Ink post, Work Life Balance. I’ve heard of it.

I’d be very interested to hear comments about this. Do people feel like we are giving something up by dedicating more time to this, or in the end will the connections and messages we write and hear in these channels really benefit us?

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