You’ve just logged into your favorite social site, and now it’s different. “Where did the button for X go?” “Hey, that doesn’t take me to Y any more!” “What happened to the Z feature?” The panic begins to rise. You start thinking back to whether you did anything different to cause this problem. “Did I click on something I wasn’t supposed to by accident?”
Relax! Social media sites change. Sometimes it’s a tiny thing, and sometimes it’s a big thing. Sometimes you get notification that a change is coming, and other times you don’t. That’s just how it is.
But take this moment to savor the opportunity.
“Opportunity?” you exclaim. “Everything’s messed up! I don’t know how to get my regular stuff done any more! I’m back to square one!”
Precisely! You are back to square one. But the opportunity is that so is everyone else.
A frequent refrain from the less tech-savvy folks I work with is that there’s so much to learn and that they fear they’ll never learn everything they have to in order to be effective. But when a social media site changes things, everyone goes back to square one. At least briefly.
Granted, those of us with a bit more experience will probably get up and running again a little faster than those starting from scratch the first time. However, it’s in these moments of equalizing and resetting that the newbie can make a bunch of progress relative to the “experts.” They are just as unaware of what the new thing does, or where that old feature went to.
Rather than sitting back and wanting to wait until the experts figure everything out, then, what you should be doing is leaning in because you are just as much an expert as anyone else right now. Figure something out yourself, then look for others who are asking about that thing. Answer their question.
Now who’s the expert?
(Note: This article was triggered by the Google+ redesign launch of mid-November 2015. However, the same dynamic came up in 2011, for example, when Facebook launched the “Timeline” or when Twitter made video content more prominent, or Pinterest changed both their terms of service and how pinning worked, and will continue to be the case in almost every social media site change for as long as there are social media sites.)