The bad news is, with social media there is no rule book. If you’re out to break the rules then you’re out of luck.

There is of course a play book, and you have to play nice if you want to get on. Yet in truth no one is really holding you back from getting on except yourself. That’s not to say there aren’t hurdles. We all face a few – be they cultural, emotional, financial, generational, habitual, mental, physical, social, societal, spiritual, structural, or technological. Seldom are they insurmountable. However when they are you need to steal yourself, regroup, reassess, and take the steps right for you.

Looks Like (Hard) Work…

It’s often the case new technologies are popularly adopted when people are forced. Take the planned closure of the Winchburgh Tunnel on the Glasgow to Edinburgh train line…


It’s incredible the amount of people I’ve overheard recently having discussion about video conferencing because they or colleagues can’t face potential delays! But if video conferencing, an efficient resource when used wisely, was already available why has it taken this to make people want to use it? As Thomas Edison said, “Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.”

I think for some it looks like hard work, and I can get that, but if there is opportunity to improve people’s lives why would we ignore that? Of course I realise the practical issues. There’s more I want to be doing through my blog, for example – more regularly blogging would be a good start. Commuting daily to work in Edinburgh takes a bit of time and I like to workout or run when I get back to Dundee which limits my time. So I looked at what I could do differently and drafted much of my 7 posts in 7 days countdown on the train on my smartphone. Next week I’ll be working at the NHSScotland Event 2015 at the SECC in Glasgow, won’t be commuting, and will have far less time even than usual to blog so finishing the countdown without a break of a few days is going to be a challenge.

But that’s nothing really when you consider 2 in 10 adults in Scotland report they aren’t using the internet at all– especially older people, those facing deprivation, and people registered as disabled, even higher than the overall 1 in 10 average not using it across the UK2. Let’s not forget internet access is now recognised as a fundamental human right. What’s more, as I was reminded at a meeting on the topic, if we get digital access right for those who face the most enduring barriers then we get it right for everyone.

So go on, make sure you go further faster. There are no speed limits.

Just don’t leave anyone behind.

The full 7 posts in 7 days countdown on social media learning in one place.

Previous post: #5. Money Talks
Next post: #4. Will it Fly?

Resource: Social Media Playbook – Government Digital Service
Reference: Scottish Household Survey 2013
Reference:  ONS Statistical Bulletin: Internet Users, 2015
Photo Credit: Leo Reynolds via Compfight cc