The Educational Disconnect

One of the things that we social media/tech heads preach, is to educate; educate those about Twitter that don’t get it, clients/companies who need help understanding the new media space and how it can build community and enhance their current marketing strategy, or our readers through how-to articles on how to better utilize Google Reader or Firefox.

Why do we educate them? To help this space evolve, to acquire new clients and projects, and to grow the community on our blogs. Didn’t we forget a group of people though?

Family

That’s right. Your family, loved-ones, significant others, puppies (ok, maybe not). These are the people whom you’re closest with, spend (sometimes) the most time with, and usually know every little detail about you. So, why does it seem that they’re the ones that know the least about what we do in our careers? I thought a lot about this when I saw Adam Stewart‘s tweet. Though it relates to friends specifically, the thought is the same:

Every day it becomes more obvious to me that my friends have no idea what I do for work

His tweet made me laugh as just the other day, I told a good friend that I was writing a post and he asked if I worked for the newspaper now, lol. Sure enough, I fall under the same disconnect that many others have with people close to them having no clue what they do. My parents know that I ‘do’ marketing but have no idea what social media or blogging is. Luckily, my sister gets it for the most part; though she’s in finance, she’s tech savvy.

I posed the question to my Twitter community to see if this is a reoccurring theme: How many of your family members/loved ones really know and understand what you do for a living?

@hooshy

Surprisingly few. I used to try a lot harder to explain the intricacies when I was younger. Now, they just know I “work hard” : )

@ehrenc

Uh … one : ) lol. I just haven’t bothered explaining what I do to others. They just associate everything I do to the internet anyways ; )

@AnthonyGartner

My wife hardly knows what I am doing and sometimes not even me ; )

@MikeDriehorst

Wife is really only one. My mom doesn’t own a computer. Kids are too young (<11yoa) to get it

@dfolkens

Most my extended family only know that I’m on t.v. sometimes. Beyond that, don’t really get all I do. Wife does as she’s PR too.

@rachelsterline

My family is just starting to somewhat understand (“You write press releases.”). But, they still don’t understand fully.

The answers I received were a resounding no, with a few that have a loved-one or two that truly knows what they’re up to at work. We undoubtedly take time out to try to reel in that next client with an hour long presentation on social media, so why not give the same time to our family members?

Ok, I get it – they’re probably going to be bored to tears if you sit there and give them a presentation on what a press release is or how to use Twitter. Or maybe they’re just old-school and not that tech savvy. Nonetheless – we owe it to them, and ourselves, to try.

Does your family truly know what you do in your career? If not, here’s a little homework assignment – for you and me. Spend a little time with them in your world. This isn’t a how-to on Twitter or what an RSS feed is. Show them what you do, what you’ve worked on, where and what you write about. It’ll be a fun experiment, at the least, but I’m pretty sure they’ll come out of it knowing a bit more about our careers and will be happy we shared it.

Homepage photo credit: mamchenkov

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