One of his favorite expressions was “You’ll know when the rubber hits the road“. As a kid I used to think, what the heck is he talking about.
As I got older I discovered that certain responses to my actions created “traction“, both good and bad. While always aiming for things I desired some of my actions created traction in the wrong direction. The wrong direction usually sets you back and creates consequences you never expected nor wanted.
The “rubber” my father used to refer to was the “traction” a decision creates. Good decision create good traction. Bad decision create negative traction. Some decision simply create no traction rather you end up “spinning your wheels” burning up rubber.
Rubber on tires represent the depth of “traction” you get in order to move forward or backward towards a destination. When the rubber wears down your traction becomes slippery and you end up losing control over the direction the faster you go.
Is Social Media Rubber?
In business and life in general our “rubber” represents effort, energy and our ability to stay in control of our direction with traction. In a conversation “rubber” could mean the progressive or digressive nature of the conversation. Ever had a conversation that goes from bad to worse? That is digression.
Certain conversation throughout the social web enable individuals and businesses to progress without reducing traction. Instead these conversations enable the parties to collaboratively progress towards a destination whose end nobody knows but the parties anticipate new gains created from the knowledge exchanged. Other conversations do nothing put “spin wheels” going nowhere yet burning up “rubber”. Then there are those conversation which go backwards and create zero progressive traction towards an aim.
Social media is like rubber. It can take you to a destination but the destination you pursue is represented by your conversational currency. You can make progress or digress. You can spin your “wheels” chasing people’s pocketbooks with ads that get no traction. You can discount social media and subsequently get no traction at all and spin your wheels denying its value.
The irony of all this is that “rubber” can leave tracks. The tracks left by your conversational currency (traffic and content) clearly indicates the direction your going or wish to go whether intentional or not. Other drivers can see whether your headed in the same direction as they are or whether your in reverse or standing still burning rubber. Regardless of your direction you’ll be in similar company.
One last thing my father used to say “If you burn rubber your journey will be not be long”. My father was a pretty wise man.
What say you?