Got up from the kid’s table and haven’t looked back. An #usguys moment

Unrelated, but Big D and the Kid's Table is one of my favorite bands

At the #usguys #philly meetup we talked a bit about the volatile nature of relationships and whether the stream has grown too large to create/maintain the ‘tribe’ (@aldsaur coming up with her own great perspectives on this).

One thing we established that meeting face-to-face immediately boosts the amount of interest an individual has in reading and responding to tweets from fellow #usguys. This is a point being made across many platforms – social media is great for reaching out but real relationships are formed in real life.

This fact is something many people my age struggle with  – friends who are new to Twitter aren’t attached to it, because they follow people who are already IRL connections. Knowing someone personally trumps knowing them on Twitter, and renders it more of a plaything than anything else. This mentality holds true for pretty much everyone thats still at the kid’s table of Twitter.

But I noticed something else about the nature of relationships conducted via social media that nobody brought up last night: age. @Tho_r and myself were easily the only people under 30, and definitely have the least amount of professional experience of the group.

I got into social media because as a recent college grad and generally computer-handy person, internships and small business owners who have their hands full were more than happy to have me take the reins of anything Internet-related. But #usguys is made up of consummate professionals with years of marketing experience under their belts and who have been dealing in social media before anybody coined the term. More importantly, they’ve been dealing in networks, relationships and brand identity entirely without the aid of computers.

Obviously, this group is a fantastic wealth of information for someone looking to learn about pretty much anything related to branding, small business and yes even social media. But I can’t help feeling that at some point right around graduation, I got up from the kids table and stumbled upon an extra chair with the grownups. And while the kids table still looks really fun, and I miss finger painting to my surprise the big table isn’t so different. There’s still paint (on iPads instead of easel boards), there’s more good-natured humor and less hostility, and everything everyone says is absolutely fascinating. I know there are in fact plenty of people under 30 on the stream but my point remains the same – they’ve been freelancing or working for a few years and have mastered the etiquette required to dine at a table with fine white linens. I’m staring at the forks, figuring out which one to use.

I just find it interesting that so many have assumed I’m good with Twitter because I’m young, even when data shows the average user is 39. Another #usguys member, @starry_girl pointed out that marketers often miss her demographic, which is the exact age range that has not only adapted to Twitter but pushed it forward as a business tool. Without them, everyone my would be stuck at the kids table, retweeting Kim Kardashian and mucking about with blinged out background.

So all I can say is thanks for letting me pull up a chair.

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12 Responses to Got up from the kid’s table and haven’t looked back. An #usguys moment

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention Got up from the kid’s table and haven’t looked back. An #usguys moment | The Snarkoleptic -- Topsy.com

  2. Social Media can make the old seem young and the young seem old. Adding the confidence of experience with the youthful desire to learn is a sure way to have an accelerated career.

    See you in the #usguys feed. @jpJeremy

  3. @Solete says:

    I’m still trying to figure out which fork to use, and I hope that never changes. Looking forward to catching up with you in the steam! @Solete

  4. You are an exceedingly mature young woman! As an older gal, reading this was music to my ears, and I couldn’t agree more! My best Twitter friends are years away from me, yet we have bonded just fine because of shared interests.

    I really look forward to reading more of your posts, and will follow you immediately! And I DO hope to meet you IRL at some point in the (hopefully near) future. 😀

  5. This just came to me…let’s see if I’m perceptive or insane! ;D

    I predict: You’ll be out of WordPress and into your own self-hosted blog within 1-2 months. AND You’ll add your face to your Twitter persona (or use another one for #usguys that somehow references your snarky blog!) within a month.

    We’ll see!

  6. Joseph Ruiz says:

    Lucy, great insights. Love your style. It was a lot of fun meeting you in real life. I’ll continue to follow. We all have a contribution to make and that is what resonates most for me in this brave new world. I think it’s pretty cool that we all tend to interact as humans not as young or old, smart or brilliant, etc etc.

    Keep up the good work. Maybe we can have coffee on one of my trips up north we can connect with Jamie and Sam and Josepf. Can you say #reunion! 😉
    Joe @SMSJOE

    • snark1 says:

      I agree, there is a level of human interaction that is unique to our little virtual world. But I think that experience still counts for something – I can sit on Twitter all I like and read every article on Mashable about the newest app, but without some host of experience in the outside world it doesn’t count for much. The fun, or usability, or point of Twitter is how it allows us to recontextualize the real world, and go beyond our geographical limitations. In turn, the outside world provides Twitter with context. And if the average Twitter user was a 22-year-old college grad, I highly doubt it would be the #1 source of information.

      Look me up next time you’re in NY!

  7. Hi Lucy,
    Great rreading your perspective of the meetup and the stream in general.
    See you there.

  8. Lewis Poretz says:

    Great post… although I have to say that meeting #usguys tribe member IRL was like visiting an old friend. Transparency rules in social media and true personalities shine through, just like in real life. Keep posting… you write great content… see you in the stream

  9. As another member of the #UsGuys tribe who attended the Philly meetup let me say that I love this post.

    I’m a woman of (ahem) a certain age and part of a demographic that is not supposed to “get” Twitter. Statistics would show that I’m likely to have a LinkedIn account for professional use that I never visit, a Facebook account which I only use to exchange photos of my extended family, and an e-mail account (probably AOL) that I look at every couple of days. Wrong!

    I arrived at #UsGuys by chance but, as you say, never looked back. When I start to feel like I might be getting in over my head, I click another link, read another blog post, and figure out what’s going on. It’s been a phenomenal learning experience.

    Some years ago I realized that hanging around with people who are less smart might feed the ego, but it doesn’t nourish the brain. Diving in with a group of smarter, younger/older, diverse people is the way to learn. And despite a little nervousness now and then there are very few things in this world (think sky-diving and performing surgery) that can’t be learned by rolling up our sleeves and trying it out.

    So welcome to the grown-up table!

  10. Pingback: 125 Free Blog Topics-Corporate and Personal Blogging | Heidi Cohen

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