As my first class in a graduate program came to an end, I looked back over everything that had been discussed, considered, and studied over the last few months. There were many moments that opened my eyes to a concept I had never considered or perspective I couldn’t imagine on my own. I am deeply thankful for these moments. Most of them came within the first few classes when Brent or Hanson were presenting. But the very first came as a note on my original terms of engagement submission.
“My advice to you on that front is to actually change your perspective somewhat: given the incredible pervasiveness of digital in our lives, it actually is “real.” Perhaps you may want to consider framing it as, say, online vs. face-to-face? To me, both matter greatly in the art of persuasion.” Hanson
This seems like an obvious fact. Growing up with technology at my fingertips my whole life, why do I still tend to think of the digital world as a different platform? Maybe it comes from working with members of an older generation or maybe it is because I am still amazed how fast we are moving. Or maybe it is just that they still are separated from each other. We spend a lot of time immersed within the digital world, but we can disconnect. We may Tweet a lot, but we have to get in the habit of remembering to Tweet. Five or ten years ago, it would not be a thought to send a Tweet regarding a disaster that is happening in front of our eyes, and for some it still would not be. But there are a growing number of people who do think this way now and are never truly unplugged. Their habits and thought patterns revert back to social digital sharing.
I am going back and forth on this issue. My conclusion is that the digital world may still be separate from our life but the gap is shrinking every day and with every new smartphone owner and new social media account created. If we want to be forward thinking, we need to consider this change in everything we do and with every marketing and communications decision we make. This is the world now. Online is IRL.