What would we do without today's technology? Can you imagine a world where you didn't have a Facebook status to update or even a tweet to post on Twitter?
Being social isn't just about face-to-face interaction anymore; technology has broadened our definition of communication. The internet has quickly opened up both two-way and multiple conversations through several social media forums such as Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Flickr, etc.
I probably spend too much time on social media sites. I use Facebook and Twitter to connect with friends at colleges all over the country, family in Florida, and even to find out what's going on with friends that I haven't talked to in a while. As a part of my day, I regularly update my Facebook status to let my friends and family know the latest things about my newborn daughter.
Being a Facebook addict and tweeter myself, I prefer Twitter for its simplicity. Twitter is mainstream and current. Users all over the world tweet about what they're doing, things they're seeing, current events and any topic you could possibly think of. Unlike Facebook, Twitter isn't all about the relationships between friends; it's about what's going on around you, making it the perfect marketing tool for an organization.
Not only is social media used for personal conversations, but it's become a useful marketing tool for organizations to connect with consumers and other businesses. Leaders at the highest levels are embracing social media.
As the Army values its clear communication to all generations and demographics, what better way can it do this than through a social media site? Social media is a fantastic outlet for the Army to tell its story. Not only is it sharing its values and its story on these sites, but it's allowing feedback from the community as well.
If you're still not hip to some of the more popular social media sites, here's a list of what they are and what they are used for. YouTube allows its users to upload, share and comment on videos. Many businesses use YouTube as a teaching tool for its employees and for the public.
Twitter, a micro-blogging site, allows users to send and receive messages that are less than 140 characters. Users can link Twitter to their phones, giving them access anywhere they are.
Flickr, a scrapbooking site hosted by Yahoo, allows anyone to post pictures or videos for others to view. Flickr allows an organization, such as the Army, to tell its story through pictures. A picture is worth a thousand words, right?
Fort Detrick prides itself in its relationship with the people of Frederick.. By using social media, we are remaining transparent and developing relationships with the people in our community.
The Garrison is catching up! We are now on Facebook, Twitter, and Flickr! Soon, there will be a blog and a YouTube channel as well. Be sure to follow us at www.facebook.com/DetrickUSAG, www.twitter.com/DetrickUSAG, and www..flickr.com/DetrickUSAG.
(Shannon Bishop is a student hire working in the Public affairs Office.)