Monday, April 4, 2011
Embracing Social Media By Guest Blogger, Luci Duckson-Bramble
I was very comfortable with my style of "reaching out and touching." Then, in 2003 I came to Girl Scouts of Nassau County and technology was much further ahead than where I had been. Emails here were the primary way of communicating. I was in shock, I was used to walking from building to building (there were five on our campus) to talk to my colleagues or using the phone. While we had computers, they were mainly for data collection and reports. It took about six months, but I got used to emails as the primary mode of communication both internally and externally. Yet, in my soul it didn’t feel right. Something seemed to be missing. I went with the flow because everyone everywhere was using emails.
Then in 2007 I had my first foray into social media. My son, who was then 12 years old was using this thing called ”AIM.” He and all of his friends were on it. My response was to ignore what he was doing, because I just didn’t “get it.” Then I started hearing about My Space. A colleague suggested that I get with the program, because this was the way it was going to be with youth, and as a mother I had the responsibility to keep up with what was happening with them. When Facebook hit I really wanted to bury my head. I watched my son, his friends and other young relatives embrace social media with an intensity that I hadn’t witnessed with anything else. Every young person I knew was quick to get a Facebook page. I thought they were crazy; I didn’t want all my information out there. When it was suggested that Girl Scout staff create individual Facebook pages, I resisted for a long time and finally caved in to the pressure. In time I started to using Facebook and was surprised at how many baby boomers were on it. I even reconnected with my college roommate!
I still wasn’t convinced that Facebook was the best means of reaching the general public and didn’t think it would help us here at Girl Scouts to reach girls and families and in a big way. All that changed a month ago. As I sat watching '60 Minutes' I was blown away by the story of the Egyptian government’s collapse that started with a posting on Facebook. I thought if Facebook could bring down a government that had been in place for 30 years, Girl Scouts could definitely use it reach and engage girls. There hasn’t been a day in the past few weeks that I haven’t witnessed the power of social media. While many struggle with using it, the world around us is changing because of social media. I can’t imagine the advances that will take place in the next 12 months, but I know it’s a tool that can help us help girls change Nassau County.