Social Media — It’s not just a fad…

I know when Facebook was first born, I had some rules in my own house about when the kids could establish their own account. Like cell phones, I was always very conservative about giving permission too early. Brian did not get his first phone till he was driving at 16. But to have some fun with him that Christmas, I first gave him a walkie-talkie, and when he was crushed at not opening a package with a cell phone, I demonstrated how cool it would be that we would each have our walkie-talkie’s strapped onto our pants so we could reach each other at any time — afterall, he was never more than a mile away, and the talkies had a 3 mile radius on them. I allowed the teasing to go on for another 20 minutes or so before he opened the package with the real cell phone. Once again, I claimed the title of “great mom”.

In high school, they would not “friend me” on Facebook, however, I always made certain they would friend one of my brothers, who they thought were cool, and my 4 younger brothers ALWAYS knew when to report into their older sister about the actions of one of my children. Obviously, I reciprocated for them as their children came of age.

Once the kids arrived to college, it was much cooler to friend your parents, and so I was granted this very precious right. However, it came with rules – “Mom, please don’t say anything embarrassing and no embarrassing photos either!” Of course, I have broken that rule a few times but have been pretty good for the most part.

So one of the social media platforms I have yet to conquer is “Tweeting” – no, not twerking — that will never happen! With my “Twitter Tip Sheet” in front of me, I was sitting in a CLE yesterday on presentation skills. I took a photo of the speaker, MCC Professor Ilene Benz, and tweeted out what a great program it will be. I was quite proud of myself, as I have been determined to master this Twitter world. When I arrived upstairs, Communications Manager Liz Novak complimented my tweet, but suggested that next time I tweet as “Mary Loewenguth” not as the “MCBA.” Geez, really — thanks for the positive affirmation of this first step Liz.

This experiment followed a lively presentation at Tuesday’s Board meeting in which the Communications Team, Liz Novak and Dajaneé Parrish, provided a tour of the MCBA’s various social media platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube. We started with a great message from Liz Novak about how communications with members has changed. Liz reported that:

Social Media is the direction Bar Associations are headed in. This is demonstrated simply by seeing how the programming at various Bar workshops and conferences has changed. It’s a reflection of how the landscape of communications has changed; and the landscape is comprised of social media.

And because of this changing landscape, our own communications here have changed. We moved away from print and towards e-communications, supplemented by social media.

At the meeting, with a show of hands, we learned that about half of the Trustees are on Facebook, more of them are on LinkedIn, and a few are on Twitter. One of the challenges of social media is trying to determine which medium you use for what purpose. From a past ABA Conference, we adapted a very cool tool that easily differentiates the best uses of the different social media platforms. And since we serve so many sub sandwiches here at the MCBA for both meetings and CLE’s, we decided to personalize this tool in a way that you can relate.

Social Media Explained Cropped

Social Media is not a fad as many people continue to think. Social media is a part of society and it’s time that we (baby boomers) adapt this attitude. The fastest growing age bracket on Facebook is 45-54 and on Twitter the fastest growing age bracket is 55-64.

I challenge everyone to join or get involved in at least one social media platform:


“Like” our Monroe County Bar Association page on Facebook, as well as the Young Lawyers Section page to get all of the latest updates and an inside look into MCBA events, programs and socials.

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Follow us on Twitter – @MCBA_NY for breaking MCBA news.

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Join the  Monroe County Bar Association Group page on LinkedIn to connect with other MCBA members and to engage in a dialog within the legal community.

Join and see what it can do for you – besides checking out your child’s latest “relationship status.”

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