Has Social Media Transformed Your Life?

October 31st, 2009 by Bob Bly

The subtitle of Erik Qualman’s new book “Socialnomics” states that “social media transforms the way we live and do business.”


I can’t think of a single way in which social media has transformed my life or my business.

Has it transformed yours?

Qualman says that social media is the new inbox.

For me, my e-mail inbox is the new inbox.

He also says that “Are you on Facebook?” has become the equivalent to “May I have your phone number?”

When I deal with clients, customers, vendors, and prospects, I ask for their phone number and e-mail address.

I don’t ask whether they are on Facebook.

How about you?

Source: Target Marketing, 11/09, p. 14.

This entry was posted on Saturday, October 31st, 2009 at 4:12 pm and is filed under Online Marketing. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

47 responses about “Has Social Media Transformed Your Life?”

  1. Twitter Trackbacks for Has Social Media Transformed Your Life? - bly.com blog - bly.com direct marketing blog [bly.com] on Topsy.com said:

    […] Has Social Media Transformed Your Life? – bly.com blog – bly.com direct marketing blog bly.com/blog/online-marketing/has-social-media-transformed-your-life – view page – cached The subtitle of Erik Qualman’s new book “Socialnomics” states that “social media transforms the way we live and do business.” — From the page […]

  2. Riya Aarini said:

    I think the developed world has become far more globally connected due to the very impact of social media.

    Bob, social media has transformed your life as well as mine. This I know. You have been able to reach an audience wider than through any other means, specifically because of your social media blog. You converse with others via your blog, reaching a vast audience, something unattainable prior to the evolution of social media. Do you disagree?

    I have been able to reach a wider audience, too, through the likes of Twitter and such social media outlets. All across the country, at any time of day, every day of the week, communication is possible in a snap.

  3. Mary Shafer said:

    Bob, the very fact that you’re on Twitter and have a (very active) blog belies your claim that social media hasn’t transformed your life. Maybe not your entire life, but it’s certainly changed your schedule, since you clearly make time for it, and it’s changed the way you reach out to communicate with people. And for a guy who makes his living as a communicator, I’d say that qualifies as at least modestly transformative. Transformation need not be earth-shattering. In fact, I’d venture to say that MOST transformation happens so slowly we rarely realize it’s even happening. Interesting premise, though.

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  6. Rogelio said:

    In my case, I can assure Social Media has change my life in many ways, some of them:

    1. Specially through Twitter I’ve come to known a lot of people that are now key to my work, ideas and personal life. They come from so different backgrounds that it would’ve been very difficult to know them through the “atom” world.

    2. Being away from my home country, Facebook has become a major way of keeping contact with family, friends (including those I haven’t seen in years!) For me this new type of social closeness is life changing.

    3. We have a small online store. We don’t have a physical space and our main promotion channels have been (yes you guessed right!) Facebok & Twitter! The business is growing and I’m pretty sure that our little store growth is going to impact my business partners and me.

    4. I met my girlfriend on Facebook. We’ve been dating for over a year and we want to get married. I’m pretty sure that has change my life.

    So, I do think Social Media is a big deal because, at least in my case, its impact has extended to my real social circle. I really see it like a catalyzer for social interaction a way to accomplish social engagement a lot faster than years ago.

    For me, that’s live changing!

  7. Kamil said:

    It’s nice to see how people think their lives have to change just becaue the media has changed. And vice versa.

    And here, be sure, the media will change itself again in the future. But the life will be still about the same elemental needs. The social media then will be your old mail and people on Facebook will start using something better just because it’s new and has better features as previously.

    And commenting on an ussual wordpress blog post will be soooooo booooring and unproductive…:)

  8. Erik Qualman said:


    Thanks for reading Socialnomics and for posting these questions.

    While Social Media is not for everyone I truly believe it is one of the biggest fundamental shifts we have seen in communication. For those that do use it, which is a lot (over 300 million on Facebook alone) it is very powerful.

    I believe Rogelio, Mary, and Riya say it best.

    Some quick context for two items you mention:

    “Are you on Facebook?” has become the equivalent to “May I have your phone number?” This is in reference to dating/informal meeting. You probably have seen some TV commercials that reference this “Facebook Me” this is how Gen Y speaks.

    Also, the e-mail reference. Again, this primarily applies to Gen Y. They communicate more via Facebook Chat and comments than via e-mail.

    Thanks again for reading my book and for starting a thought provoking conversation.

    Best, Erik Qualman
    Author of Socialnomics

  9. Hoover said:

    And Erik turns up to join the conversation, thereby proving the impact of social media.

    Ten years ago, would you have had the author of a book you discuss arrive at your front door and say “thanks for reading, here are the points I’d like to take issue with…”?

  10. Curtis said:

    I think what everybody is saying is that social media HAS impacted their life. But, perhaps the better question is … has social media (I think of social media as Twitter, Facebook, Linked, etc) changed your BUSINESS life.

    So, has social media changed social lives. Quite likely.

    Has social media improved your BUSINESS life. Not likely. At least not in with business friends I know. Some, very successful already.

  11. Terri Karp said:

    A few of these comments equate blogging with social media. But I think that’s not exactly right. Blogging been around much longer and is a distinct mechanism: email is analogous to talking with a friend; blogging is like a lecture followed by Q and A; and social media is a cocktail party with everyone blabbing at once.

    Personally I find LinkedIn useful for business, and Facebook controllable because I can hide the truly silly stuff. But, though I’ve tried various interfaces, Twitter spews too much. Party all day, nothing gets done! (But I do recommend enough Twittering to keep fresh content on a website feed.)

    So I can see why short blog posts with these comments acting as lecture Q & A are a good fit for Bob’s time.

  12. Sheryl Tuttle said:

    I haven’t read Socialnomics by Erik Qualman, but I do believe that social media has transformed lives, much like the telephone did when it was invented, followed by email. Social media is providing the tools to connect and collaborate with more and more people very easily and non-intrusively.

    But – like you, when I meet a business associate my first inclination is to get their telephone number and email address. These methods of communication are still much more personal to me.

  13. Peter Cutler said:

    Hi Bob,
    Your books and advice are great. I’ve been following you since before the Internet I think.
    But, hey, Twitter. It’s worth digging in IMO.
    Facebook too. But Twitter. Fast, Free, Targeted Followers = Fast, Free, Targeted Traffic.
    How can you go wrong? You’ve got a brand. Go for it. Need any help, give me a shout. Or Tweet me @studio525.
    You’ve helped me a ton. I’m happy to return the favor.

  14. Derek Franklin said:

    Hey Bob,

    I think the real challenge I have with social media is the constant push (via media and technology) to convince us that we NEED to connect with and/or track more and more and more people, tags, events, products, companies, stories, blogs, launches, lists, groups, fan pages…you get the idea.

    Enough is enough already!

    We don’t need to know everything about everybody, for crying out loud.

    It’s all becoming a big heap of distraction fed to us in tiny, bite-size bits, which when taken together results in hours of time wasted in non-stop mental consumption.

    Think about it: When you’re constantly consuming (as social media encourages), when do you have time to turn the switch and actually PRODUCE something of value?

    While there are SOME benefits to social media, I think a lot of people are becoming ‘addicted’ to seduction of all the ‘stuff’ that’s available to them, and as a result are tracking, subscribing, friending, and following a lot of people and things that if they stopped to think about, do VERY LITTLE to help them achieve their goals in life.

    It’s mostly a bunch of noise and ’empty calories’ for the brain.


  15. Bob Bly said:

    Derek: You hit it on the head: We don’t need to know everything about everything or everybody. We can’t. If we try, the pursuit will reduce our productivity to near zero.

  16. Arleen Anderson said:

    For most people, Facebook is the newest trend to communicate with friends, relatives and even clients. Basically, it only proves that internet is a much better way of communication than any other method because of its accessibility. People are taking advantage of the useful features of FB.

  17. Michael A. Stelzner said:


    My answer to your question…



  18. Russell Dunkin said:

    I don’t ask someone I’ve met for the first time if they’re on Facebook. I can see where B2B sales wouldn’t work this way. I do however, invite them to connect with me on LinkedIn if they are a professional, and I want to stay top of mind for them after our initial meeting. I have connected with several people on facebook that I don’t know in person, or met briefly, and it is a FAR better medium than email for getting to know someone and advancing a relationship. It may not replace email in the business sense, but it is replacing it’s use among those who use mobile access to Facebook.

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  20. Jessie Jacob said:

    Yes, social media had greatly affected my life. I can’t end my day without visiting my facebook account. I must admit, I’m so addicted with facebook.

  21. Ethan Brown said:

    Yes, social media changed my life. However, I’m trying to lessen my addition with these social networking sites. Why? Because most of my time are wasted because nonsense activities with these sites.

  22. Sam Reiki said:

    I’m so addict with social media right now. Maybe it’s because of the features they are offering for me that can help in my everyday activities. Admittedly, my addiction can be so destructive at times.

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