It’s hard to resist the offer of a free sandwich in Sydney’s Hyde Park on a beautiful spring day, so a“tweet up” offering was always going to be successful.
Like most social media meetings in any big town these days, people from all walks of life gathered to meet and become more than just a Twitter handle or obscure forum name.
Any idea that your average internet user is a pasty, overweight, underemployed 20-something is quickly dispelled as you meet all sorts of interesting people who are doing interesting things.
The hundreds of “tweet ups”, coffee mornings and social media dinners across the land are creating new networks which are changing business and society.
This is opposite of the stereotype being used to reinforce the mindset that blames the internet and social networking sites for everything from schoolyard bullying through to street riots and arrested brain development.
Over the last few days we’ve been treated to stream of stories about the views of professors and researchers detailing how the world and our minds are being destroyed by the internet.
My favourite is an English professor currently visiting Australia who claims computer game addled 20-something market traders may be responsible for the global financial crisis.
Perish the thought that good old-fashioned greed and hubris, the cause of every market crash since the Bronze Age, may have had something to do with the GFC.
The weekend press mentioned the professor applying for a study grant from an American university to prove her theory.
If that is true, it’s a shame the she didn’t take the time to check out the Twitter hashtag to join us for a sandwich in Hyde Park.
Had she done that she’d have had a nice sandwich, caught some sun and seen her theory disproved.
She would have met a far more diverse group than a bunch of stuffed shirts huddling in a cosy lunch club, desperately trying to validate their deliberate ignorance of the changing world outside.
It’s those stuffed shirts, along with their newspaper columnist friends, who are isolated. By choosing to demonise the internet and ignore the opportunities social media tools present, they are being left behind in a fast changing world.
The options for entrepreneurs and business owners are clear – you can lock yourself up with the stuffed shirts and rage about your dying business or you can use the net to help your business grow. The choice is yours.