The point I was leading towards in “Are You Still Relevant? [Part 1 of 2]“ is that *your* perception of yourself isn’t necessarily the same as anyone else’s. Also, if a lot of people perceive you in a certain fashion, that doesn’t make it the truth.
I will attempt to clarify, hahaha :D
Technology is changing. The way people relate to each other is changing. Back in the day, people used to send letters by Pony Express or on the train or on ships that would travel from America to Europe. Eventually, they were using telegraphs & telephones. Eventually portable phones. Eventually pagers, then text messaging and now smartphones. People used DOS, then Windows, then Mac OS. People programmed with ADA, C++, Visual Basic…..
Just because you composed incredible letters that you mailed to your loved one doesn’t mean you can kick that live, today over the phone. Just because you were a genius at database programming 15 years ago doesn’t mean you know A SINGLE THING about Twitter. Just because I was involved in live streaming three years ago doesn’t mean I know anything about it TODAY:
The way I’ve seen things happen… A LOT, in Social Media is that someone does ONE THING… *EVAR* IN LIFE, and from that point on, they’re declared relevant. Their opinions on totally unrelated things are heralded because they invented something ONCE, or they wrote ONE really popular blog post or book or they worked for ONE company that everyone was jocking at the time. After that, there’s no need to look at that person’s track record.. It’s like they made it into the hall of fame.
The difference with the hall of fame, like, in Baseball or Football is that you don’t ask hall-of-famers to coach teams AFTER they’re inducted. Why is that? Because the systems their teams used and that they individually excelled at… are OVER. There are new formations, new plays, new philosophies, there’s new equipment, players are faster and stronger… The ONLY way a hall-of-famer would be selected to coach a current team is if he had proven that he understands and mentally excels in the workings of the CURRENT environment.
The way I see it.. For those of us who care about such things, we have a new opportunity every single day to reestablish our relevance in our chosen fields of knowledge or expertise. Actually, I suppose there are two sorts of relevance. There’s the relevance in which you’re like a textbook… You’re still a relevant source of information about Pascal programming…. For whatever THAT’S worth….. Then there would be relevance to current concepts or technologies. What I’m saying is that the hall-of-famers DEFINITELY deserve all the props for their past achievements! No doubt. A lot of people act like relevance in one area is transferrable to relevance in another and tend to follow people as authorities on things that they really aren’t.
The reason I started out with part 1 of this article is that my “reaching back” situation helped me to recognize the lack of transferral of relevance over time. There are at least two reasons why it’s necessary for me to reestablish relevance with people I knew a long time ago, when we were kids.
- Time has passed and they may not even remember ever having spent time with me.
- “The Game” has changed immensely for all of us since we were kids. Whatever relevance I *HAD* in that environment isn’t applicable to our lives in their current formats.
This is why I ask(ed) the question “Are you still relevant?”. I don’t mean relevant to yourself or relevant to the people you interact with right now. The question is, how long do your props last? How long will people give you credit for whatever you did in the past? How long can you ride on past glory? How long will people still say “There goes whomever!” if you’re not striving to stay on top of new technologies, concepts and philosophies? Have you let yourself get out-of-date? If so, what’s your plan on rectifying that? Do you have one? Do you care?
On the flip side of that, what are the credentials of the people that you “follow” or consider to be authorities in their field? What are the credentials of the “experts” that you hire to work on your projects or help your company excel? The dating columns you read? What do the writers really know about people or relationships? Have you checked into any of this, or did you take someone else’s word that this person knows what they’re talking about and subsequently passed that potentially erroneous information on to your own friends and followers?
Are you accepting advice from people who were good at Atari 2600 games about XBOX games?… Are you accepting advice from guys that don’t know any women about women?… Are you asking gals that get played left and right what their advice is about men?… Are you relying on someone with NO RECORD WHATSOEVER of being a video producer or editor to complete your project professionally and on time?… Are you relying on someone with no record whatsoever of increasing a company’s ROI, efficiency or visibility to lead your company to Social Media glory?…..
Good Luck with that. ;)