What scares Dracula about being social?
Colleen Burns 120000C4RP firstname.lastname@example.org | | Tags:  keith_brooks social_media ibmredbooks dracula ibm_champion ibm_redbooks
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Fear is a strong motivator, sometimes for change and other times for stagnation. Even if you’re afraid to move forward, eventually you’ll need to act. If your organization is averse to using social media for business, does that come from management, your culture or the individuals themselves?
Maybe the reason we have no vampires in modern times is because they have become afraid of social media. Bela Lugosi, leveraging his authentic looks and natural voice, could scare people really well - but even monsters have an Achilles’ heel. Dracula's downfalls were fire, sunlight, garlic and supposedly wood stakes to the heart. However, something even more insidious was at work that brought the vampires down: it was modern man.
What was it that bothered Dracula? People. Yes, he needed their blood to live, but at the turn of the century, when Bram Stoker wrote Dracula, people lived mostly in villages or in the countryside—easy pickings for vampires. As modernization came, with industrialization in businesses and better transportation methods, the old ways were dwindling. The noise of cities and trains and more people moving around could certainly hurt a vampire with sensitive hearing who’d been living virtually alone for centuries. The vampire’s fear and failure to accept this change is part of what led Stoker to pen this classic of horror literature.
Compare this to the zeitgeist referred to as "being social" and the older generation of employees that in more ways than one may be stagnating your efforts. It is not their fault. The world has opened up in a direction foretold by George Orwell in his book 1984 that disrupts the way people are thinking. It is not that the older generation cannot adapt; it is that they do not see why they need to do so. They don’t see the benefits, and perhaps, like the vampire, they fear change.
Being more social might have actually been beneficial for the vampire. What if vampires got together and through their own social networks were able to find their prey? Would they use social media more? Could they make a run on governments and change our world in a way we couldn’t even begin to fathom? Stranger things have happened.
I think that in this world of always-connected people Dracula finds himself lost. If he preys on the wrong person it could instigate a mob that could hunt him down and possibly kill him. Or perhaps he wants to be found out, to live among people—at night at least. People probably would not like it, but given the “live and let live” attitude, they could make it work.
The jury is out and the vampires are listening, so what do you think? Are they out there using social media to hunt for prey, or have they gone to rest for another millennia while they wait out a quieter return to the old ways when social media didn't exist and meals were plentiful in the countryside? Likewise, will the older generations in your organization be able to adapt to the changes that social media have brought? Fear may grip us for a time, but eventually we must step out and open our minds to the benefits new communications can bring to business.
*No vampires were harmed during the course of writing this blog post. Any inference of living or undead is purely a coincidence and at the whim of the author.
Keith Books is the Social and Collaboration Practice Leader for Voicerite, an IBM Premier Business Partner. Keith has spoken at SugarCon, Lotusphere, the View Admin conferences and other industry events on subjects around messaging and social leadership. Keith has written articles, books and blogs around IBM products and solutions for over 20 years. YOu can connect with him on Twitter @LotusEvangelist.
Keith is an IBM Redbooks thought leader.