This is the original transcript of my speech at the recently concluded TEDx XU last February 25, 2015 with the title “The Essence of Greeting on Cyberspace”. Delivered in almost the same context with segue.
Holiday Season, after the carolers sang their Christmas songs
The Leader: Merry Christmas! Knock knock!
Then lights went off.
The Little Boy: That’s totally sad, It’s Christmas.
But little did they know that someone was behind the curtain, eavesdropping.
Early in the morning, you’re heading for school
Me: Hi Ma! Good morning! You look beautiful today.
Mama: How about yesterday?
Me: Pretty, pretty of course.
His mom smiling at him. Overjoyed for what she heard.
Me: Can I ask for money?
Mama: Oh M G!
In an office, very professional in your corporate attire.
You approaching a person: Hi Ma’am! Good morning!
The Person: Yes! Good morning!
You: Can I borrow some money?
Let’s see if they will deny you from borrowing one. (wink)
Enough of my drama. The bottom line for those scenarios: the greeting. A greeting is an act of communication probably to make your presence known, to get attention, or suggest a relationship. A simple greeting may vary, from words, to gestures, and cultures.
Having been exposed to the computer world at the age of 8, for almost 2 decades I have seen how communication evolved with the use of the internet. I can still remember the first few things I made almost 20 years ago on the net – created an email address, sent my very first email – to whom? To myself saying “Hello!”. From snail mail, to telephone, from the dial up to high speed internet, the dawn and now, the matured social media.
Whatever medium you may use, there’s only a desire, it is to connect with another human being.
Human are designed to be with one another, to take care of one another and to live with one another. A relationship starts with communication. One example is when you text “Hi” to your crush is a simple indication that you wanted to create a connection. I did that to my now, GF. I’m glad she said hello and not “Who you?”. Truly, communication is the key to human connection and it starts with a simple hello.
Even the first program flashed the words “Hello world” and up to this point, upon turning on your brand new Apple device, Hello is the first word – in different languages.
Even social media networking sites are tweaking their homepage to better explain to us. “Hello I’m Facebook!” or Welcome to Twitter! Technology and social media has created a flexible space where we can express ourselves and connect with others.
I am a Social Media advocate, professionally and personally, and I am just astonished on how connecting and creating relationships has been made a lot easier – 1 click and you’re now friends. On the contrary, making enemies are like our snacks, easy to digest. *I know that was not a good analogy.*
With the advancement of technology, the internet and social media, questions arise…
Does greeting still convey the same meaning from the traditional one?
Big No. No, it’s totally different; conveying the true context of your message is hard. The challenge is to make it more human. Sometimes we let technology do it for us. I, myself, am guilty of that. That challenges goes to me, to all of us – how do we make it more human in a dynamic aspect.
Throughout the years of observing how social media has shaped humanity, I have seen in my very eyes how people struggled to make themselves more human online. It is the fear to be judged. For whatever we say on the digital world can be used for you or against you. Our simple hello’s online may mean different for others, it may make us sad or make us “Kilig”. Like this.
So, how do we make sure we convey the right message in a medium where words dominate in a noisy environment? In social media it’s not about the content, it’s about the context.
Content = meat of the message
Context = the way you want to say it
In social media, you wouldn’t hear a thing. No sound but it’s really noisy. How noisy?
6,000 tweets per second
360,000 tweets per minute
21,000,000 tweets per hour
1,296,000,000 tweets a day
So how do you listen to a person or a group? How do you make it more human when we connect with someone?
How do we effectively humanize Social Media?
1.) Listen (listen to the wisdom of the crowdip, trend, buzz, sentiments)
2.) Empower (voice of reason; responsibility)
3.) Re-echo, reach out, and connect.
Sentiments are also powerful tools in social media listening.
One way to make it more human.
There are 3 basic sentiments we can convey to our greetings – positive, neutral, negative. Let’s take a look on the word hello with the following mentioned sentiments.
Now, there’s even this :3.
Words are not enough to express your emotions on greeting someone. Online tools and apps have evolved and realized the power of emotions.
Wondering why at this point greeting someone is still essential?
The process of greeting someone will forever stay. Why?
Because greeting on the cyberspace, in general, is the essence of being human.