Given the prevalence of scepticism amongst lawyers (see my earlierblog), it is entirely in keeping with character for lawyers to be slow to openly embrace social media.
Judging from a recent study, it would seem that this might be doubly so for Canadian lawyers. In this article about Digital Life, the world’s largest study into consumers’ digital behaviours and attitudes ever conducted, the following observations were made about Canadians’ online activities:
- Canada lags in digital engagement.
- Canadians aren’t much for blogging.
- Canadians are average picture-sharers.
- Canadians do less social networking, more email.
- Canadians spend less time on social networking sites on their mobile devices.
- Canadians will be slower to transition social networking on mobile phones.
- With an average of 150 friends in our social networks, Canadians are not as "friendly" as consumers in some other countries.
If the President of the United States can win an election based in part on social media strategy, then even the most sceptical of lawyers cannot deny there just might be something to it. Barack Obama has so many friends on facebook and contacts on LinkedIn that even I am a 3rd level connection.
We have also seen this week much texting and tweeting from the courtroom during the sentencing hearing of Russell Williams. Justice Robert Scott agreed to allow the media to use electronic devices for the purpose of taking notes but said any use of laptops, handheld communications or recording devices must be done an a way that was not obtrusive to the court process.
Social media is a pretty big wave. It is changing our behaviour and it is here to stay. Whether you are a Canadian, a lawyer, or both, you might as well just hang on and enjoy the ride!
Sharon Davis – Click here for more information on Sharon Davis.