Imagine being invited out for a game of golf by a group of friends. You’ve never picked up a golf club but you don’t want to be left out as pretty much everyone is going. You’re a fantastic tennis player and could literally wipe the floor with any of them, but they’ve gone off tennis. This new fad ‘golf’, is supposed to be a more social experience.
Arriving at the course your pal Jim hands you a set of clubs, “it’s great, you’ll see”, he says. You take one look at the clubs and frown. You have no idea what the hell you’re doing! What’s worse is that the entire group seems to be speaking in another language, it’s all “golf this” and “bunker that”. Nevertheless you laugh when everyone else does and try and keep a smile on your face all the while wishing you were destroying them at tennis.
Time to tee off and you select the club that your pal Jim has used before you. Copying what you’ve heard about a golf swing you give it a go and naturally the ball skids about 12 yards and comes to rest in a thicket. Everyone laughs and you vow never to play golf again. Nevertheless, the following Sunday you’ve been invited back to the course and you gamely soldier on. Nothing improves until Jim recognises your pain and decides to give you some private tuition away from prying eyes. You protest and feel really embarrassed that you need help but after a couple of weeks you start to get the hang of it.
If you’re reading this blog it is highly likely that you have a fairly solid online presence. It’s likely you participate in social media and have shared a huge amount of personal information over the past few years. There are however, large groups of people who are yet to buy into the online experience. These are the tennis players as described in my little story above. They kick arse at many things, but digital isn’t one of them. It’s not because they’re incapable. They’ve just not had the right advice, and are yet to see the benefits.
Education is the key to opening up the world for those that are yet to see the light. The sad fact is that in most cases people feel like they should be involved, but also feel daunted by venturing into a realm which seems to be so well established. The fear perhaps, is rooted in looking “silly”. “I’ve been fine up to this point without an online presence, so why should I change?” The answer of course, is that people who don’t get online will be left behind eventually. Digital purveys our whole lives from our mobiles to televisions, and just imagine what it’ll be like in twenty years!
So please remember your responsibility when you speak to people who are suspicious of online. They will probably come around in time given the correct information and with experience of success. You can talk until you’re blue in the face, but people won’t believe you until they’ve actually done it themselves.