Socially Savvy Girl Next Door

When I was about five – I honestly can’t remember if I was four or five – my parents met. Just for clarification in case you can’t digest how my parents met after I was born, this would actually be my biological mother and what the world would consider to be my step-father. Seeing as this is the only father/dad I have ever known, he does go by the name dad…just an FYI for story purposes. We, my mother, brother and I, lived in England in what would be considered a town home. The house next to ours was constantly being lived in by Americans, usually in the US Navy.

For me, as a possible four or five year old who had a nutritionally focused mother, this was terrific. During this time I was introduced to Kool-aid, Chips-a-hoy, and all kinds of other fatty, sugary goodness that is considered American food. (England still takes the cake when it comes to chocolate though…except Reeses…yummmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.) If you’re wondering how I obtained these things…I mean, come on…who doesn’t give candy to blonde haired, blue eyed awesome little girl? Although these days things are different, back then, this was a pretty safe endeavor.

Then my dad moved in next door. While I was still able to enjoy some pretty awesome sugary processed foods, I was introduced to something much more magical. In case my dad does read this, I do want him to know that no, it wasn’t The Sound of Music, which he put on once and I immediately passed out. No, I haven’t tried to watch it again. Yes, I do understand I might have a different perspective on it twenty years later. So what could it have been?

A computer. Dare I say Windows 3.1? No clue really…I’m guessing it was about ’94, and I doubt he was using a Windows ’95 beta…All I know, it was amazing. My extent of amazing consisted of being able to play a game for several hours. No. Not minesweeper. It was known as Gorillas. The idea was that you had a cityscape and two gorillas, one at each end. You then had to, somewhat mathematically, decide how far you would throw the banana to try and blow up the other gorilla. I LOVED this game. The fact that NO ONE seems to know what I am talking about when I talk about it, I can’t imagine living without it.

From the first time I played that game, I was in love with the personal computer.

Let me be perfectly clear. From about 1994 until early 2006, I was a PC girl – and yes, I mean Windows. I only state that because I am now a Mac girl – once a Mac hater – and most people don’t know I used to swing for the other team.

Seeing as my love for the personal computer began with a game, it would half be expected that I would become a PC gamer as well. But you now know that I’m a mac girl, so you know I can’t be too dedicated to gaming. Which I’m not…at all really.

Instead, in 1997, my love for the personal computer would grow immensely with the exciting times for the Internet and AOL Instant Messenger, or AIM. I was young so I really didn’t have many people to talk to, but hey, I was BSBFan1987…yup, that’s right. The good old days of Backstreet Boys. (Don’t laugh, that NKOTBSB tour looked amazing). Then I would discover AOL pages. With a limited amount of HTML, I did as much as I could. Unfortunately, most of this didn’t stick with me, so now my HTML knowledge is probably more limited than I was about 10.

Then there was LiveJournal. MySpace. Facebook. Twitter. LinkedIn. On and on we go. The Internet has created a plethora of ways to connect with other people. It gets easier everyday and new tools are created at an ever extending pace to assist with these social media outlets. The social media craze is where I feel at home, and Gorillas on ’94 Windows computer brought me here.

It might be too much to ask, but seeing as companies are jumping on the bandwagon as well, it would be somewhat expected that these companies know something about the platforms they are using to now communicate with others. Or, if they don’t, it would be nice for them to be honest about it instead of thinking that I’m a complete idiot. It would also be nice if they hired people that were socially savvy, because hiring someone who knows social media or IT, but doesn’t understand communication obviously doesn’t work. I would say hiring someone who knows about communication and can learn social media would be one of the lesser evils.

Normally I don’t point out one company for doing something incredibly poorly like social media, because I know we are all learning. But, this is something I’ve grown up with and this isn’t going to get any easier. The thing is, the generations that have come after me, have known this even longer and will be much more difficult to silence via the Internet.

About a week ago I was slightly frustrated with my iPhone. I don’t understand why my Verizon Wireless iPhone does not have the same software capabilities as my boyfriend’s AT&T iPhone. Why can’t I see my purchases over iCloud? I understand that the Verizon iPhone was released after the AT&T one, but to be honest, that’s a mistake on Verizon’s end, I shouldn’t have to continue to pay for that as a customer. So, I did what my generation does. I tweeted about it.

If this was the first time I had been frustrated with them, then I suppose this would be harsh. However, it’s not the first time I’ve been frustrated with them and it’s not the first time I’ve tweeted about my frustration. Normally, they don’t respond. I still decided to tweet about it, however, because it brings up my issue and other people listen (i.e. they utilize social media to learn and form their opinions about certain brands…leading to or away from a product…therefore creating or gnawing away at brand or product loyalty.)

This time, Verizon Wireless responded. One would think of my excitement over this…they listened, for once! But, alas, it continues to go downhill.

Okay…so I thought I would be honest with them…it’s not something they can help me with right now. I’m frustrated with iPhone software updates and my slow Internet. I’ve already reset my phone, made sure there isn’t an update available. I’ve worked with cell phones (for a job) for over 4 years…I’m not really the usual customer.

(see, the honesty? I can’t be helped, and I do know what I’m talking about.)

…I’m sorry, what!? Have I tried setting the phone…? On what, the ground? I have two problems with this.

  1. If I was a normal customer with no cellular experience, I wouldn’t know what this means at all. Therefore, how are you helping me? This person probably should have recommended I at least DM them for more ways to get assistance.
  2. I would actually try RESETTING the phone. As a support person, we would want to know what we are talking about. Credibility with this person has been stripped away in one tweet. I’m assuming this is a different tweeter than before anyway, because of the marking AB (the one prior was CB). Also, my last tweet used some technical language… 4.2 software (I know where I am on the update line) and what I want (iCloud support). I would have felt more satisfied if the response had just been, “I’m sorry to hear your issues with the Internet, have you tried resetting? Yes, 4.2.8 is current” (44 characters are still available there).
Really, I just shouldn’t have responded…but I did.
Of course I didn’t get a response to this. If anything I think a “Sorry I couldn’t assist, please let us know if we can help in the future” (68 characters still available in that one).
It’s upsetting to me that companies do not know what they are doing in terms of social media. It’s not as if social media launched yesterday. I could understand if we were still back in the day with MySpace. Even then, it’s a tad shocking, but okay, we all learn…but come on. Twitter has been in existence now since 2006. FIVE YEARS. It can’t take you FIVE YEARS to learn something related to social media. Even taking five years to learn something in technology is appalling. I’m not just saying that to Verizon either. Companies really need to figure out and then maintain customer service. If you’re behind now, how are you ever going to catch up?
That’s a question I think companies really need to have a meeting about. For a fee, I’ll be your consultant 😉

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