Six Pixels of Separation - The Blog
January 24, 201110:19 PM

Good Old Fashioned Values

If we use our traditional values in this now-digital world, we're going to fall behind... faster.

I have the pleasure of speaking in front of audiences that are both large and small all over the world. This gives me a very unique perspective. In your day to day work, if your client does not agree with your strategy and direction (or/and if they think you're simply crazy for suggesting it), more often than not their shaking of their heads is going to send you back to the drawing board. I get that from clients as much as the next agency owner, but the feeling is dramatically different when you're on stage and you can feel that guttural reaction happen en masse . When I show an audience statistics of online usage, adoption of mobile, specific uses of YouTube to build audience or general Social Media quirkiness that generates a lot of attention, they shake their heads in a way that says, "I can't believe this," "who has the time for this?" and/or "why would anyone do this?"

Your values are not THE values.

The same people who say that kids today don't interact because all they do is text one another or update their Facebook status' are completely missing the point. Every generation says this about the generation that comes after them. Our parents said the same thing about us using the phone or playing video games when we were growing up. This applies to privacy and this also applies to rights management. When everybody is sharing every detail of their life (in text, images, audio and video) with the world, the concept of privacy changes and evolves. When you can buy something digitally from a website or smartphone, the idea that something is sold based off of where you physically live seems a little ludicrous.

Our values have to adapt and change... rapidly.

We are not going to bend technology and innovation to our will. We are not going to bend technology and innovation to our traditional, good old fashioned values. We (the digital immigrants) have to change. We (the digital immigrants) have to accept that as the world does open up and as people do continue to share their information and find out about brands in new and interesting ways, our only hope for adaption is to open our eyes, ears and minds... and to stop shaking our heads in disbelief. Whenever that feeling of disbelief enters my mind and starts to make my head shake in that negative motion, I try to acknowledge it... and shut it down. It's about thinking in an open way and be being able to adapt quicker.

How about you?

By Mitch Joel


Comments Comments Feed
  • Posted by Sass Peress
    Mitch Joel

    Joel,
    Perhaps it depends on which values you are talking of? If you are talking about living with integrity, honesty, transparency, kindness, generosity, faith and patience, then I believe these "good old fashioned values" transcend generations. It is perhaps in the manner in which they are lived that changes and that is what we "the immigrants" must accept.

    If someone used to be ailing, we'd call them. Our parents would only likely visit them. Now people FB their issues right for their friends to see online, and the response is quick and vast. Is it the same as a personal visit? Perhaps not, and perhaps it is not intended to be. Yet for a friend who lives half way across the world, they can now send us words of support because they'd know about our issue, whereas our parents or grandparents may never even find out.

    So I think that the challenge is how to help people understand that while the core values are to be kept as every generation has sought to, the manner in which those values are executed will change because of technology and we cannot be judgemental in how we view the action of our children in the use of technology to communicate and commune between them.

    Sass

    Reply
    • Posted by Sass Peress
      Mitch Joel

      typo: somehow your first name got deleted when I hit "post". sorry about that !

      Peress

      Reply
    • Posted by Paul Flanigan
      Mitch Joel

      Nailed it. Right there.

      Reply
    • Posted by Kiri
      Kiri

      Well said Sass, I think perhaps values is not quite the right word here. In a world with so much access to different ideas, some of them pretty destructive, you actually have to be pretty sure of your values when you choose how to engage, online and off.

      Reply
    • Posted by Hamid
      Mitch Joel

      I'm agree with Sass. The manner and style of living changed and we as immigrants addicted to high technology and dot com life style. But values are to be kept by generations, values like integrity, honesty, transparency, kindness, generosity, faith and patience. We have all these values in 2011 and 21st century.

      Reply
  • Posted by Tobias Bray
    Mitch Joel

    Sass. :

    Every generation seeks to differentiate itself from rhetorically last and with each generation certain values are lost while others remain. Kids are being kids like they always have been.

    Our challenge is that thanks to technology, the rate of innovation is out pacing our ability to mature and understand the impact. This is mother the first time society has been turned on it's head. The printing press, telegraph, railroad, telephone, movie and tv have all had a.similar but not as pronounced impact.

    We will adapt.

    Reply
  • Posted by Tobias Bray
    Mitch Joel

    Sass. :

    Every generation seeks to differentiate itself from rhetorically last and with each generation certain values are lost while others remain. Kids are being kids like they always have been.

    Our challenge is that thanks to technology, the rate of innovation is out pacing our ability to mature and understand the impact. This is mother the first time society has been turned on it's head. The printing press, telegraph, railroad, telephone, movie and tv have all had a.similar but not as pronounced impact.

    We will adapt.

    Reply
  • Posted by stephen q shannon
    Mitch Joel

    Stunning and profound. Tis a privilege to have access to your crisp posts. This with full attribution will be shared with my mini and receptive "tribe." Thank you!
    Stephen Q - Delray Beach FL

    Reply
  • Posted by Mary Tod
    Mitch Joel

    Mitch - perhaps a parallel to your post is the adaptation necessary to live in a foreign environment. I lived in Asia for three years - what an eye opener that was! Different culture, food, language and customs reminds a person very quickly that our North American way is by no means the only way. It took me a while to 'get it' though which I regret.

    As a digital immigrant, I constantly feel one or more steps behind. However, if I don't try, I will be like an immigrant living in her adopted country without ever learning the language. I started blogging six months ago with fear and trepidation, now I love it. Who knows, Twitter might be next!

    Reply
  • Posted by Johnny Russo
    Mitch Joel

    Companies that do not want to evolve their marketing thinking, do not truly know their customers. The same old, same old doesn’t work. Those companies will fail, and then we can shake our heads and say "I told you so!"

    Great post Mitch.

    Reply
  • Posted by Carolyn Parrs
    Mitch Joel

    Mitch - In this post, you mentioned specific uses of YouTube to build audience. If you have written specifically on this topic, can you share the links? FYI: We featured one of your posts in our green marketing blog here: http://greenmarketingblog.com/2011/01/19/if-youre-social-networking-youre-sharing-more-than-content/. Love your blog.

    Reply
  • Mitch: "If we use our traditional values in this now-digital world, we're going to fall behind... faster." This says it all in my view... What happens to successful business folks who don't jump on board or at least test the waters? Do they go out of business in 3,5,10 years? Are they going to be too late? It scares me, because I have MANY dynamic business owner friends, who truly HATE digital/social media... Will they die and slow, painful death? Thank You for post! Best to ALL, Brian-

    Reply
  • Posted by John McLachlan
    Mitch Joel

    100% agreement with you, Mitch about the "shaking heads" syndrome that is encountered.

    Being open for someone like me (I'm 50) is really important, but there is a point where I will never truly "get" all of it. I had an email address in 1993 before I knew anyone with an email address so I'm not new to all this, but the fact is, you deal with life and work differently as you age. AND THAT'S A GOOD THING.

    One of your best posts. Thanks. I'm going to share it with my little corner of my world.

    Reply
  • Posted by Annie Laberge
    Mitch Joel

    Hey,

    I do agree. All of us who already agree with what you are saying will try to convince others. But how? How do you convince a client, a business partner, a boss, colleagues, parents and so on that changing our vision towards technology is good for them. Good for business, good for the mind, etc. All this takes time, but in the long run is very beneficial.

    A colleague of mine keeps on telling me 'baby steps'. I guess he is right.

    Thanks

    Reply
  • Posted by Ray Welch
    Mitch Joel

    Mitch,

    Great post!

    I can't tell you how many times I have sat in the audience, listening to a social media "expert" explain to a roomful of "mature" foodservice executives the concept of "checking in" on Foursquare, or finding a local reservation on Open Table.

    I'm usually one of those shaking my head because the information being presented is rudimentary or outdated...others are shaking their head because they don't understand why someone would share SO much information with the world.

    The point should be made, and I think you have, that we don't need to understand the "why", we just need to accept that our concept of "privacy" and "communication" has changed.

    If we want to connect with our customers, we need to learn how to communicate at their level, in formats they are comfortable with, and typically in 140 characters or less.

    Thanks,

    Reply
  • Mitch Joel

    Reminds me of when around my company we hear of this and that new "digital habit" (could be, Farmville usage, for example) and we think "wow we'd never spend so much time playing that", but then again, millions of people do, so once again we are reminded that our specific likes or values aren't exactly the mainstream, and we shouldn't build stuff around OUR personal likes, but listen carefully to what people really want.

    Reply
  • Posted by matt nelson
    Mitch Joel

    I'd argue that we need to be mindful of timewasting more than ever before. We've seen generations lost to TV since the 60s. It amazes me that while we pacified ourselves with a staggering obsession over television, much of the world kicked our rear ends in innovation, business process, education and healthcare etc...lost generations...

    spending time with our new technologies is not a bad thing...the problem is that we're wired for the path of least resistance and the masses will inevitably play 'farmville' and 'mafia wars' instead of using the tools to connect, create and innovate.

    Reply
  • Mitch Joel

    Yes and no. Do we need to evolve and change with the times? Yes! Do we ignore the fundamentals of business and common senses, no. And that's the big problem with the 2.0 community, complete abandonment of the lessons of the past. If we disregard the past completely, we are destined 1) make the same mistakes and 2) become less cognitive as a society. Take the complete new era attitude at your own peril.

    Reply
  • Posted by Charles Baratta
    Mitch Joel

    Great conversation. Well. there are some people that wants to evolve because of the fear of being left behind. There is no problem in evolving and using new ways in dealing with our business as long as we keep the Good Old Fashioned Values!

    Reply
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