Two days ago, I returned from 10 days on the east coast to the note above on my car asking if I'd like to sell. As it happens, that's exactly what I want to do. I hadn't had the chance yet to post the car on the obligatory online sites or social networks. I simply had one note from a stranger asking if I wanted to sell. So, of course, I turned to social media next posting the note on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter for my social networks to revel in the amazing timing and coincidence. As it turns out, another friend who saw the note on Facebook was also interested in buying my Jeep for his teenage son.
That afternoon, Kevin came by to test drive the car and offered to buy it immediately. Who knew selling a car would be this easy? The ease to purchase got me thinking about interplay between social media and physical media. In this case, the physical media left on my car, in the form of a note, posted to social media networks generated two potential buyers. Fascinating.
At SXSW this March, I will be speaking on a panel entitled, "Are We Killing Social With Social?" taking a hard look at the ways in which social media can affect our physical relationships. Think back to a moment when a friend ignored your conversation to check in on Foursquare or post a picture on Instagram. While we fuel our social networks with content like programming a television network, we sometimes forget that physical interaction can solve the challenges before us.
In my case of selling my car, the combination of physical and social led to the sale. Without the note on my car, I would have never posted on my social networks and my Facebook friend wouldn't have taken interest in the Jeep. The note itself turned out to be an intrigue-driver demonstrating that the car was in good shape. A stranger had passed by and stopped to show interest, writing a note which served as a physical word-of-mouth review more powerful than a Facebook like.
Of course, Kevin's lack of punctuation and general affection for capitalization brought him to task on my Facebook page, but that aside, Kevin's note helped sell my car. In short, physical media should not be sacrificed by the bedside of social media. Social media should serve as a springboard to empower our daily lives. I only fear that for some, the empowerment has turned to addiction and physical media and interaction are being ignored. Let's face it -- Without the note, would a link to the online posting of the car sale be as effective? Perhaps, but physical media sure helped in this case.