Social Media

Social media for your business.

Use social media for your business. Pic: www.vandelaydesign.ccom

Here’s how to let social media serve you.

“Social media is the ultimate equaliser. It gives a voice and a platform to anyone willing to engage” – Amy Jo Martin

Having a few social media accounts is not just trendy these days, its more or less a necessity. The phenomenon has basically overtaken us all with practically half the world subscribing to one social media account or the other. The brilliant creators behind these social networking services intended their users to primarily connect with other users on other sites and then leave room for other types of usage.

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From social media to customer service advisers, there’s always someone out there who’ll make you wanna eat the content of a bin.

Someone said Twitter can be defined as you writing down your thoughts and hoping someone resonates with it. I guess that means that Facebook is you writing down your thoughts and having the damn world scrutinise it. You would be amazed the amount of people who can string a few heavy words together, jump on your status and comments and make you feel stupid

Its not you, believe me, its them!! Facebook asks you a question: “what’s on your mind”, you tell it, and then comes running along, a crazed, finger hungry facebooking bastard tearing your thoughts and your comments to pieces. All you did was answer Facebook’s question. You try to use the platform to test the market for your new product or service. Your family and friends very wisely tell you the product is ‘fantastic’ or ‘its good’ which really means its shit, but NO, some dude, 500 million miles away picks the biggest bloody hole in your idea and months and months of you trying to perfect the concept turns to days upon days doubting yourself, while the bastard is sat in his room with a greasy shirt watching Transformers with a bucket of KFC beside him. There’s always 1.

Nobody wakes up in the morning wanting to call a premium number, wait in the queue for 30mins because you want to renew your car insurance. But it happens, and just when you thought life couldn’t get any bloody worse, the idiotic customer services person on the other side tells you: NO! You can’t pay online, you need to pay right now, and with your credit card. All i wanted was a password reset, so i can go back to my stress free life and pay everything i need to pay online. He repeats himself 10 more times; because you are stupid and didn’t hear him the 1st time. You got no choice but to curse him out and slam the phone down hard, perhaps hoping he has a headache as the phone comes crashing down on its cradle. But no, he’s not having a headache, infact he wont be having a headache today at all, actually he will enjoy being a jerk to 5 more customers he’s suppose to be helping today. Only problem is that your problem has not been resolved and you are forced to call back the number and wait another 30mins praying its not the same prick that picks up the phone. Guess what? It is. There’s always one.

You start your new dream job and make it known to everyone from the start that you just wanna do your job to the best of your ability and go home. You are quite good at what you do, excellent as a matter of fact. All of a sudden your boss starts to pick faults in tiny little things. At first it’s a trickle, then it becomes a daily thing. You are wondering why things cant just be, you are wondering how this jumped up white boy in a suit can’t just live and let live. Everyone else is getting on with their jobs, its a stressful job at the best of times, why add your own shit to make it even more unbearable? He pokes and pokes till you finally snap and tell him to go stick it where the sun don’t shine; Yes! you tell your boss to take a long walk off a short cliff. In the end you have to leave the job, because you cant swear at your boss and expect to hold on to the job. You cant go jobless and hungry either so you take the company to court, they settle out of court and because they don’t want to be seen as such a bad company (run by pricks), they also relieve him of his duties. So who lost? There’s always one.

Quite difficult finding parking these days, especially in built up areas, it’s a well-known fact. So much so, when you take your partner for an urgent appointment, you have no choice but to park in one of the reserved bays. A bay that is empty and not being used. Thousands of pounds is paid by the companies for these bays which they allocate to their staff. Every staff who work in the complex walk past, minding their own business because you are minding yours; besides, you are not troubling anybody, just sitting in the car with your kids waiting for your partner. You will promptly move the car if anybody need to use the bay. Then she comes walking out of her office, walk past your car on her way to hers, she looks at you, looks at the bay and look at your car. They bay is not hers but you can sense all the busybody juices in her body going into over-drive. As you expected, she picks up the phone and rings the complex management who very quickly lock the gates and lock you in. Making life incredibly difficult for you, as you have to search the whole complex for the individual that has the key to let you out. There’s always one.

Kole Obasa

Graduation

It always occurred to me that even though there are so many of life’s fundamental questions that remain unanswered, there still seem to be an active support or following for a particular course of action.

Why do a degree course when you could simply get into the work force and build your way to top management in a couple of years time? Or why do a degree course if you will end up in the middle management sphere at most? Reasons for this ‘anti’ argument vary greatly. There are many reasons students find themselves tied down to academia for 3 (maybe more) years of their lives.

It is fascinating sometimes to hear the various reasons people give for being in higher education. Many of us have no other option than to study. African and to a large extent Asian parents find it sacrilegious, a taboo even to not attend and successfully complete a degree program. Some even have their career paths and indeed degree courses chosen for them. Having a ‘good Degree’ represented a sense of pride; a sense of belonging, and an opportunity for a social standing that is unparalleled. A tidal wave of consequences would normally await the wards of many who wouldn’t rethink.
This stance can be justified though since in many parts of the world, a first degree is not even enough to get you through the ever revolving doors of employment, talk less of not even having one at all.

I use to think I was one of the lucky few in this regard; My father, being an Air force pilot always either made me believe my career in life was completely left to me to decide or he didn’t participate in any discuss regarding it. This made me feel somewhat empowered to do what I felt was right for me. So if I decided not to do a degree, so be it. Right?

Looking back now, it occurred to me the little remarks and innuendo about the Air force being ‘A great way of life” a motto I carried with me and recited all my life was not just a motto, it was me being buttered up to study and either join the Air force as an officer, or study and become a pilot. I remember how as a reward for ‘good behaviour’ my brother and I were allowed into the cockpit of huge military transport planes (C130) almost on a daily basis. We weren’t that well behaved, at least not daily. He would talk about flying and the Air force non-stop and he still does. This wasn’t a punishment, neither was it any form of reward, he was simply nudging us towards a career path he felt was best above all. So much so, I nurtured an ambition to be a pilot all my life (I still do) I also ended up in the military for a short while. My brother came very close.

Some of us do it because it’s the next logical step; it follows a set pattern – primary, secondary and tertiary education. Something that just has to be done. Not because of any kind of pressure from any quarter, but simply because its logical.

Believe it or not, some others do it out of sheer curiosity. Why is 1+1 really 2? What really is the General Theory of Relativity and what does Einstein mean by this? It is true that some in academia will forever strive to conquer the summit of learning. Many are successful! If you think that attaining a Doctorate Degree is the end of true education, think again. Education is constant and continuous, and knowledge is never lost.

There is also the ‘clubbing and drinking’ culture, which also makes higher education appealing to many. Heck, who wouldn’t relish an unsupervised and wild social life? Putting the appeal of this into perspective, one can see a reason for the influx of many to Universities. Party hard, drink harder, play hardest; by the way, there’s the small issue of a degree course to consider.

The harder economic times, the recession as many know it forced the hands of most employers who somewhat unfairly subsequently attached stringent measures to their recruitment drive. One of these measures and in order to be able to stand out from the rest of the crowd was a ‘good University Degree’ as a minimum for entry. Some go as far as requesting professional courses as well as university degrees. The reaction to these sometime draconian measures was an increase in undergraduate numbers. But, there is research that supports a steady increase in salary for recent graduates; so it’s not all bad news. Keeping ahead of the competition has never been more justifiable.

Regardless of the motive, motivation and end result, certain school of thought continually refer to statistics that indicate a steady rise in graduates (at least in this country) Their argument, one might add, also lends credence to higher education being seen as the benchmark of the political leadership in the UK, a standard which is unchangeable or undiluted. To even consider going for the top job, the British Prime Minister, political acumen is and will never be enough. It is surely the norm these days to have a leader who is ‘Educated’ and this extends to leaders of mainstream political opposition as well.

But believing the above statement would mean the land is and will continue to be ruled by the educated elite. This is simply not true. On the other side of the divide, you will find strong argument supporting the notion that so many (particularly entrepreneurs) have made it to the very top without spending a day inside a lecture room. Two or three British names will continually spring to mind when laying down this argument – Sir Alan Sugar, Sir Richard Branson. If we want to go global, then Bill Gates and Steve Jobs will complete the list of names of giants of industry who did not attend university. But are they uneducated? Honorary degrees aside, could even the most worthy academic match these Billionaires toe to toe in any current, global or business issue? I think not, simply because learning and qualifications are 2 separate entities. These guys have learnt their ways to be qualified enough to hold their own in their respective industries. Truly fascinating wouldn’t you say?

This article is pregnant with questions and surely provokes a bout of self-reflection, but then it was designed to be. One thing is clear though, choosing higher education is increasingly no longer a luxury, it is gradually becoming the norm and an undeniable fact is that regardless of your rationale and reason(s), there appears to be no downside to it. It is sure! You win a prize at the end, which helps you massively in your life, and you lose nothing.

So, why are you in higher education? I can’t speak for you, but I can speak for myself. My answer is unpretentious, I have always operated on a simple ethos in life – I have a dream not a plan. In order to attain this dream, I need to attain a good degree. It’s that simple.

Kole Obasa