For Father’s Day: lessons I learned from my Dad

It’s hard to believe it’s been nearly 13 years since my Dad died – he’s still such a big presence in my life.

I think of him often and remember things he taught me that I use personally and professionally every day. I will admit that a few of those were grudging lessons. Being young and naive, I thought I knew how the world worked better than his generation and, on some levels I was right.

But on most I was wrong.

So, in honour of Father’s Day, here are some social media and business lessons I learned from my Dad: 

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Of Winnipeg and ice

The ‘Slurpee capital of the world’ has a frosty new title. According to a story in today’s Globe and Mail, Winnipeg’s River Trail outdoor skating rink, now sliding across both the Red and Assiniboine rivers, is longer (by distance) than the one on Ottawa’s Rideau Canal. While there’s the usual griping over details – in this case length vs area; or -30 temperatures vs warming huts – it looks like Winnipeg has skated to the finish line as the champ.

Congratulations, I say. In a city where frigidity is the norm, it’s better to embrace reality than consistently gripe about it or pretend it’s not there. Done right, I think the Slurpee and skating crowns could go a long way toward making the city cool.

Snow sculpture, anyone?

A disconnect can be a good thing

I recently came back from visiting my Mom in Winnipeg. She still lives in the same house I grew up in, and being there is a bit of a time warp.

What I mean is for five days I didn’t have access to my regular online fix. No high speed. Not even dial-up. If I wanted to plug in, I had to brave a -25 windchill and drop by a wireless cafe.*

All this made me realize how Internet-dependent I’ve become. Addicted, really. When so many people could simply care less. For them, computers are a past-time, a way to share jokes, look up a movie time, buy something.

They haven’t crossed over to the ‘new media’ promised lan. They still consume TV, read local papers, go to the mall and talk to the folks behind the tables at the community displays. They get most of their news the old fashioned way.

Perhaps it’s our profession and its fascination (obsession?) with the latest and greatest communications tools. We’re ravenous for information, 24/7.

But as admirable as I think this may be, it’s important to remember there’s a parallel, albeit slightly slower world right here beside us: let’s call it the ‘first life’.

It’s a place with less MB and more MB. Where everyone’s connected, just not like that.

*OK, a disclosure: I had my BB Bold so I wasn’t completely out of touch. But, I wasn’t glued to it the way I sometimes am to my laptop.

Socials

Where I come from (Winnipeg) and in other western cities, there’s a party tradition we call ‘socials’.

If you haven’t heard of them, they’re essentially a pre-nuptials bash and work like this: an engaged couple has the right to purchase a liquor license, rent a hall, and throw a huge blow-out shindig. They invite all and sundry, get to charge admission, sell drinks and hopefully make some cash to help them get started in their new life. (They can get pretty crazy at times.)

I thought of socials because of all the recent Toronto social media get-togethers – a chance for practitioners to leave our offices and computers and actually interact.

Here’s a quick round-up:

Let me know if you have any more to add. I may see you there.

My Air Canada mobile e-boarding pass

…was unscanable at security and the gate.

But they gave me the benefit of the doubt and let me through both times.

I kind of wish they hadn’t.

(Posted from my BB post-flight.)

COPYRIGHT 2014 - MARTIN WAXMAN COMMUNICATIONS. DESIGNED BY A NERD'S WORLD. Slider photo by Darryl Ginwright.