In my previous career, I was constantly “told” by peers in casual conversation why I should get on Facebook, get a smartphone, record these shows, get a smartphone, check your email anywhere you want, get a tablet, post that — get a smartphone… Did I mention the peer pressure to get a smartphone? Peer pressure from co-workers, friends, family.

The problem? I was told — not sold.

I am not of the generation that grew up on technology and I certainly did not dive in head first when technology started changing our world in drastic ways.

I only got a debit card after the ice storm of 2007 because my husband and I were trying to purchase items and they wouldn’t take our “checks.” People are shocked when I tell them this and ask “how did you pay for stuff?”

Well, how I always had, checks and cash, and occasional credit card. But that day in December, shopping for gifts and not being able to purchase anything because the ice storm had knocked out most businesses ability to run their check machine, was the first time I had been inconvenienced by not having a debit card. I must also mention the first time I got money from the ATM (only after I called some sources, for where in the world are these ATMs? seriously) I literally said to myself, “Wow, that was convenient.”

I tell you this because I find myself in a very similar growth period in my life with social media. I reluctantly and finally got a smartphone, driven only by the new opportunity I found myself with at McMahon Marketing. I was extremely excited about joining the team and wanted to be fully equipped to embrace the one area that would be the biggest learning experience for me, technology and social media. The world of technology and specifically how social media influences, affects, transforms so much of the world today is fascinating. The fact that I had not embraced social media on a personal level had not negatively impacted my personal relationships, it just mostly irritated those around me if they couldn’t send me a video, picture, or have me see their latest life updates via Facebook.

Whether businesses embrace social media or not can significantly impact their performance and success. And the power of all the tools and resources available through social media is amazing. By engaging in social media effectively, business owners and their team members can transform the way they do business, how they grow their client base, increase profits, increase community and national awareness. If they are reluctant to do so they will likely find themselves unable to use their “checks” next time they try to purchase something for the business.

On a personal note, I’m not blowing up Facebook, tweeting any of my biz out there, or snapping selfies like my last name started with a K. I have however experienced a lot of firsts since that fateful day I agreed to get a smartphone – I took my first selfie (sans kids at the lake), I made my first Facebook post, I sent a video via a text (revolutionary!), I even signed something with a hashtag just the other day. It was shortly after that I realized how far I had come in such a short time for someone who had previously been reluctant to the social media scene. I was inspired to then do another first. #firstblogever