There is more information available than ever before, at the touch of a button you can find out how to make grape jelly (I did that two weeks ago with 5 lbs of grapes that I brought back from British Columbia), or who that guy was playing for the Edmonton Oilers in their 2006 playoff run with the kind of curly hair (Michael Peca – it was a nagging question one of my friends just couldn’t remember the answer to). My point is you can find out just about ANYTHING within minutes. With so many people connecting and so much information at your fingertips, it’s almost impossible to hide anything. On the flip side, it’s such an easy early warning system (MotrinMoms) that I don’t think there is any excuse for people to claim they just didn’t know about something big after it happens. So with the ability for companies to have an ear to the ground and know when they might suffer a blow… why aren’t parents? teachers? schools?
Of any market segment that can benefit from the transparency created by social media, it’s exactly parents, teachers and schools. If they knew how to use these tools, how to look for patterns or keywords or even just dropped in from time to time on the social networks their kids and students are a part of, they’d know about things like Kick a Ginger day. Oh what an unfortunate day that was. Long, long ago, in a time before the internet… it would have been hard for us to have known about such an evil prank, let alone attempted to prevent it. If only there had been a place we could go that youth would talk about such things where anybody can see it… if only… but how could they? It’s not like it was public information… except, wait. It was. All across the country kids heard about it. It was a Facebook group.
So if the kids heard about it, how come the parents didn’t know about it? Easy. They weren’t listening. As much as the internet and the social networking sites are tools to bring you together with your peers, they are also tools to connect you with your kids (and vice versa). Yes they need their privacy, but when events like Kick a Ginger Day happen, and tools exist in this day and age that could’ve very easily tipped us (yes, me too) off to it… there are no excuses.