A list of eight answers to the most commonly-used excuses for not using the web

number 8Have you noticed how people come up with excuses for not using the web? The strange thing is how the excuses follow the same patterns – time/privacy/demographics – and are repeated, almost word for word, by quite different people (particularly no 2).

So here’s a list of the most commonly-heard excuses and how I would answer them (if I no longer just let them fly over my head).

Let me know the best excuse you’ve heard.

1 “How do you have the time to do all that social media stuff?”

Did you ask people if they had time to make calls or write messages before the explosion of mobile/cell phones in 1994 or the spread of emails in 1997?

2 “I leave social media to a younger generation. I’m too old.”

Mmmmm. I find the opposite true – that some younger people have been brought up using Facebook as a social networking tool between mates (pictures of themselves mooning in Magaluf, for example) whereas an older generation come to the professional use of social networking unpolluted.

3 “I cannot bear the invasion of my privacy.”

No one forces you to put up embarassing pictures so you have only yourself to blame. And, if you are tagged inappropriately on Facebook or Flickr, ask to be removed. Or change your friends.

4 “None of my real friends are on social networks.”

Neither are many of mine but many of my existing and future networks of contacts are. Are they friends? Are they professional contacts? They are, rather excitingly, something in between.

5 “I just don’t get technology.”

Who said it was about technology? Are you good at networking? Are you good at media? Then you will be good at this stuff!

6 “I’m not going to give away secrets about my company.”

But when you get to sit on that conference panel, I bet you talk a little more indiscreetly about your company than you would if you were sitting in the privacy of your own office. I set my own online openess at about that level, see an AOP report on a recent video webinar.

7 “I can’t keep up because I never remember my passwords.”

You remember the PIN for your bank card, why not for the username/password for you Facebook profile?

8 “How do you manage your social media over your holiday?”

Just turn it all off and take a break. It’s a job not a hobby.

Photo credit: Andreanna

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About John Welsh

John Welsh has spent his entire working life in business-to-business media, first traditional publishing, having edited three magazines over 14 years, and, second, exhibitions since 2007. He started this blog on 22 June 2008 and ended it on 18 May 2010.
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5 Responses to A list of eight answers to the most commonly-used excuses for not using the web

  1. Great list and responses. Breaking through the imagined barriers and cracking the perception of a technological brick wall are difficult but key for all print media producers.

  2. saveoursmile says:

    Great list.
    I would add to this
    excuse: “I have no budget to hire a webmaster, nor a consultant to do this job”,
    answer: “why would you hire someone else, whose job is PR/marketing in your company?”

  3. Pingback: links for 2009-07-20 «

  4. Best post I’ve seen on the subject in a long while. Excellent and I fully agree with all the points, particularly the last one. I’m just off on holiday in a couple of weeks and was asked this precise question. Great words of wisdom, John and many thanks.

  5. Great list! I like your reflection on the “excuses for not using the web”. Most people I know can’t catch up with a lot of social networking coming out.

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