Is it actually possible to explain how unique or creative you are in a mere 150 character statement? Many companies now ask this question in their applications and it seems to be a growing trend. I imagine these companies want to know how quickly their potential employees can think on their feet, but it could also just mean Twitter has taken over job applications now. I understand that this question could just be a test of how well potential employees deliver an elevator pitch, but it seems like recruiting teams are paying more and more attention to the answers to this blurb. I always have trouble figuring out what to write in these tiny boxes, I wonder if I should try and be funny, professional, or just plain silly, and I often come away with the idea to do an odd mix of all three. I guess the correct answer to the “what makes you unique” question depends on the company that is asking the question. I am a huge proponent of learning the culture of a company before you apply, if you understand the way a company thinks, it is easy to answer the way they would, in order to legitimately catch their eye. Limiting a unique description of yourself to 150 characters may seem like a daunting task, but if you can keep it simple, I’m sure you will be able to handle whatever tasks the job entails.
A few days ago I wrote about the advancements in communication technology and how they have made the unthinkable a reality. While those advancements are great in our day, communication methods of yesterday have suffered many casualties. Some of the now archaic forms of communication, like smoke signals and messages in a bottle, really wouldn’t work as well today, but one of the strongest forms of communication that humans possess is quickly going away. The written letter, in my opinion, is the strongest and least utilized form of communication today, and it will soon be gone completely. The strength of the letter comes by the fact that it must fully portray the emotion of the writer in order for it to be understood, and it is up to the reader to comprehend, and in turn materialize that emotion in their own mind. A written letter is a form of communication that makes people think and it often calls for immediate action depending on the tone of the material. While writing is losing steam to many, due to the effort that goes into it, the world’s most important documents and agreements are still written down. Writing is one of the most effective forms of expression, but when it comes to urgency, the flaws of this method are found. A written letter takes time, and sending the letter sometimes takes even longer. The reason writing is becoming “old hat” is the fact that with a letter, a person in the future is getting a message from the past, and attempts at expediting the letter delivery process have only changed the way we take in written communication as a whole. Text messages, instant messages, and twitter have dwarfed the gravity of a written message, and sadly it doesn’t seem as though written communication stands a chance. I am aware that I may be overreacting here, but I’m just one of those people who love writing, but honestly speaking, I’m sure writing will be fine it’s just that the popularity of written communication has seriously taken a hit. I will continue to write letters from time to time, hopefully letters make a return in the future.
There are a ridiculous amount of social media applications and platforms available today. I remember the days when all I had to worry about on the Internet was making sure I poked my friend back on Facebook, but now I am bothered by constant notifications and having to accepting new followers on Instagram and other networks. I love using social media to check up on my favorite businesses and read up on sporting news updates, but I have to say the advent of social media has made the world much less social. I know that this is old news, and that everybody has now become accustomed to the idea of seeing the faces of others others buried in their phones and tablets, but I actually have fond memories of a time before all of this existed. As a child I was somewhat shy and introverted, but I grew into a fairly outgoing adult with a mastery of the art of communication, only to find that I now live in a world where communication has changed. Social media conversation is very different from face to face conversation, because subtleties such as sarcasm and body language are completely non existent over the web. Social media has basically changed how communication is done, and in the process created a generation of socially awkward young adults. I have had situations in which I have run into social media friends in real life and they treated me like a stranger, the odd part is that I have known these individuals before social media and held extended online conversations with them. I honestly can’t say what the future holds for social media or even real life social interaction, but I do know that people need to get back to some sort of interpersonal interaction or the future will be a very strange place.
It’s good to get unplugged from time to time, and by that I mean pulling yourself away from television and the Internet, especially social media. The amount of personal growth you can go through when you take time to read and do other non digital tasks is amazing. Over this weekend I had a chance to do just that, and I am thankful I had the opportunity. Unplugging yourself gives you the chance to legitimately think about things that matter, things that matter to you. When you are constantly bombarded by external stimuli from television and social media you are actually becoming less sociable. Think about it, sure you will be able to talk about that last episode of a drama or that news story but you will have nothing to say about yourself. I would like to challenge a reader to take the time to unplug yourself for a weekend, and do something you usually would not do. You may find out you like it and end up enriching your life beyond expectation.