Infomation is a big topic in social networking. The issue in my opinion is that people don’t realize they are doing it. It’s like when you see your favorite player on the television and notice a group of people gathered around someplace, including you, that have their phones out. And you start to take note of the interesting things about these people. Then you start to wonder what all those people are up to, and why they are being so sociable, while you, sitting at home, aren’t even bothering to check your emails.
Of course, there are many different definitions for what social networking is. Some people define it as the exchange of information between people, and others consider it to be any kind of interaction that takes place online, or via some sort of electronic means. In my book, I differentiate the two and explain the differences between social and business networking.
Social networking is just a way of interacting with other people. You might have a conversation with someone, send them a message, or join an Internet forum. You can do these things without necessarily thinking about the other person, or their response. Business networking, on the other hand, is much more focused. You are reacting to another person based on their business dealings, job title, resume, and so on.
Let’s take a closer look at this. During one round of golf at my country club, we were talking about Tiger Woods and how he seemed to be able to win almost every round. As we were discussing this, a young man approached us and said to us, “My friends tell me that Tiger Woods plays golf better than anyone else in the world.”
This little guy was listening to us talk, and he kept quiet because he felt like we were talking about him. Tiger Woods is a private person, and as such, doesn’t really want the world to know what he is doing or who he is with. He has a reason, a core reason, for doing whatever it is he does. But when you ask your friend or co-worker about their opinion of Tiger Woods, you will get a lot of different answers. They may say he is extremely friendly and thoughtful, but they could also say he is arrogant and egotistical. There are probably some other things that they said, but the bottom line is that they didn’t want to be associated with Tiger Woods, because of the way he conducts himself in public.
Networking is a powerful tool in business and sports. It can be used to build camaraderie and a sense of community within a work environment. But in Tiger Woods’ case, the social media intrusion created unnecessary problems and put his game in jeopardy. Golfers are always told to not let the world around them know what they are doing, because it could harm them in some way. In these situations, it appears that Tiger did not heed this advice.