Quote from my fiancee is relevant here:
"Try working in a business environment with the Twitter generation and then get back to me."
As someone who must suffer this myself...I have to say that I don't see the valuable opportunities presented by "social media" except as either a) a communications tool or b) a for of propaganda/brainwashing for the easily distracted.
As a communications tool, I am disinterested. I can see how it might appeal to some…but only in that this is the tool they were raised on. Just as previous tools have displaced those that came before, eventually social networking will do away with (or largely supplant) things like IM, e-mail and the like.
As a brainwashing tool…I’d like to have someone on my team that can speak this language and confuse the walking wallets of the world…but I sure as hell don’t want to work with anyone who falls for this crap.
When did we forget that computers are tools designed to make our lives easier? They are nothing more than a solution to a problem. When we start thinking that they can magically “produce economic growth” without being tied to tangible real-world events like manufacturing, providing services or heaven forbid actual jobs then we are screwed. We thought the same thing about “financial services” in the nineties and the aughties. Don’t buy into the smoke and voodoo one more time.