Can you remember a time before e-mail, social media, and text messaging?
Believe it or not, it really wasn’t all that long ago that the telephone was the preferred method of communicating. Connecting with clients and colleagues meant arranging teleconferences and face-to-face meetings by consulting a phone book and picking up a wired handset to call. (Some of us even remember the good ‘ole days of rotary phones!)
But thanks to the wonders of modern technology, the office phone is now primitive, having been replaced by smart phones, tablets, and a host of apps and widgets to go along with them. And the advantages of these technologies are obvious: No longer are we forced to leave a voicemail or an email from the confines of an office and wait for someone respond when a quick text message can be sent, received, and responded to in 60 seconds from anywhere with a cell phone signal. We can voice command our phones to dial any number in our contact lists—from inside our cars, no less! We are constantly connected, day and night.
In a world that seems to be moving at warp speed, it’s comforting to have tools that allow us to save time and multi-task. But are the interactions we have online meaningful?
Statistic show seniors are the fastest growing demographic online, and for good reason: It’s the simplest way to keep in contact with their loved ones. And since the introduction of tablets and smart phones, it’s become even easier—and far less intimidating that attempting to navigate a laptop or desktop computer. In fact, thanks to Skype and Face Time, the Internet has made it possible for people separated by distance to essentially have a visit with one another via a webcam.
These advantages are just as relevant across other demographics and within every industry, including the legal profession. Social media has made it possible for law firms to collect direct and immediate feedback from clients who have used their legal services, and it is also serves as a vehicle to facilitate interaction between practices and their clients. Furthermore, with an estimated 500 million people worldwide using Facebook and another 232 million people on Twitter (according to the most recent data), social media presents endless marketing opportunities. And don’t forget about the countless other social networking platforms like LinkedIn, Tumbler, Flickr, Vine… the list goes on and on.
Despite its many advantages, there remains a learning curve that goes along with our ever-evolving technology. While those fresh out of law school and in the early years of their legal careers are well versed in the nuances text messaging, Google+, Instagram, and all the rest, it’s not necessarily the case for the more seasoned lawyers in the firm (some of whom have vivid memories of that good ‘ole rotary telephone).
The way in which we communicate is changing—fast. The good news is, it’s actually for the better. Contrary to popular belief that smart phones and social media sites are destroying personal connections, studies show that they are actually getting us to communicate more frequently because they can connect us immediately. Therefore, the challenge isn’t mastering the technology, but making sure everyone understands the benefits and opportunities it holds.
Fortunately, Effective Legal Presentations specializes in helping those in the legal profession navigate all communication platforms, including social networking and online communication. We help our clients build their skills and fill their communication toolkits with techniques and talent. Contact us today to learn more about the expertise we can share with you to help you improve the way you use technology to communicate with your peers and your clients.