Staff Pick: The End of Business as Usual

So, what’s an instaFreebie Staff Pick? It’s when an instaFreebie staff member picks out a book on instaFreebie that they enjoyed to share with all of you! Our hope is that we inspire you to download a book you may not have otherwise discovered. Today, Jason, our CEO, will be discussing The End of Business as Usual, written by Brian Solis. The ebook is a free thank you for signing up to his newsletter and is only available until this Saturday (3/19) at 12 p.m. EST!

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As a reader with a gluttony of business books on my physical and digital bookshelves, I’m always delighted (I might go so far as to say thrilled!) when I discover something that challenges my world view. Brian Solis gave me a wonderful gift with The End of Business as Usual by shifting my perspective on all things social media.

I held the belief that social media was somehow separate from me prior to reading The End of Business as Usual. I don’t believe that now. Brian Solis effectively makes the point that we’re not separate from our social media. He does this by cleverly adapting the title from a poem that I enjoy by Walt Whitman: “I Sing the Body Electric.” Solis argues that “we now sing (emphasis his) the digital body electric.” In his poem, Whitman admires the body for its important role in forming connections between people, and Solis’ modification demonstrates that our digital bodies are capable of creating those same connections online.

After reading Solis’ adapted poem title I pictured myself digitally… actually (to be embarrassingly honest), the first thing that came to mind was the intro for Max Headroom. My obscure and silly nostalgia aside, things got interesting when I realized a “digital persona” was more than just broadcasting a status update. In fact, my digital persona is actually an extension of me and not a thing apart. How am I presenting myself digitally? Are the connections my digital body is making online creating value for my physical self in real life?

I realized my own “digital persona” was more than just broadcasting a status update.

The realization that we are not separate from our social media helped me make a connection to something Solis mentioned earlier in the book: people are not yet taught how to act online. Our parents taught us not to yell at the dinner table but they didn’t warn us about yelling online. Unfortunately, our parents had no idea they needed to teach us this important etiquette lesson. That’s something we need to change moving forward.

This book changed my “business as usual” and I hope it will change yours too.

In a word: insightful

Recommended for: people who want to learn about trends in business and media

Have you read The End of Business as Usual? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below, and check out our other Staff Picks!