We’re officially in the holiday season.  It’s important to use this time to make meaningful connections through such things as old-fashioned Christmas cards, personal visits, parties, and even e-mail.  Social media is a mainstay that can add to both the professional and personal side of the holiday season. It’s currently trendy to bash Facebook users as old and out of touch, but its usage is in the 75% to 85% range for adults 18 to 50 years old.  Snapchat and Instagram have about the same %’s with teens 13 to 17.  For those of you who haven’t embraced social media, because maybe you’re put off by its seemingly excessive popularity or you’re concerned is just one more thing to clutter up your life, I urge you to take some time and see where it really fits for you professionally and personally.  One thing that is abundantly clear is that people, not entities/companies are much more in the forefront than ever before and so my mantra of “It’s all about the People,” proves true.

All this talk about social media and communicating in the digital world reminds me of a story one of my employees told me about his dad.  It’s an “adoption” of the best kind: it’s personal.  His dad is a 30 year naval engineer who, at this point in his life, works primarily as a consultant.  He’s used to and understands the importance of clear and accurate communications, but none the less was resistant to getting a “smartphone” for fear it would be like a noose around his neck, or maybe more like a ball and chain.  He’s a pretty important guy, who is no stranger to technology.  Word has it he’s currently working with the Navy to design ships, manned and even unmanned.  But he was a hold out.  He resisted.  Well, fast forward to today and you’ll hear a happy “convert”.  Why?  Because he’s learned that the device gives him more free time and flexibility.  He recently commented that he doesn’t even need to go into the office on Friday’s anymore, because he can handle what he needs to from home or wherever he may be.  Cool, eh?

It’s nice to hear and tell that story of adoption.  If we believe what the researchers are telling us, the “older market” for smart phones is huge and it may well be driven by health issues.  Think about this: soon someone with a health issue such as diabetes could walk into a restaurant where their phone would recognize their location and make healthy menu recommendations.  It seems that once we get through some of the privacy issues, we can expect that smartphones can make tracking one’s health easier and more convenient.  Users will be able to share information with their providers and receive important health reminders and even record and track daily measurements and blood sugar levels.  Teladoc is just one of the newer apps that has great services including live video chats.

So, as we celebrate this wonderful holiday season, let’s commit to being communication elves and make lots of Happy connections, be they traditional or modern, because my mantra, “It’s all about the people,” rings even louder. I’m grateful for all the connections many of you have made with me throughout the year and I’m looking forward to more in 2020! Happy Holidays and thanks for letting me into your “office” each week!

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