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Bieber Biever Snow Globes | Mary Biever | One Writing Mother

Bieber Biever Snow Globes

For nearly 20 years, I’ve patiently spelled my last name on the phone: B as in boy, I as in igloo, E as in egg, V as in victory, E as in egg, R as in red. Old German spellings can make regular Americans stumble because they hesitate to say “beaver” when it looks different.

Once when I was talking to an obnoxious customer support person, I spelled it: B as in brat, I as in idiot, E as in egotistical, V as in vice, E as in errors, and R as in rude. That was an experiment not to be repeated; it neither won friends nor positively influenced my customer service.

Last month, I tried a different experiment while spelling my name aloud on the phone: Biever, like Justin Bieber except it has a V in the middle instead of a B.  The order taker laughed, immediately got it, and we had a fun, friendly conversation. I’ve repeated my experiment since and found that it works with 1 criteria: the person I am talking to needs to be under the age of 40. My response when talking with a 50 year old was, “Justin WHO?” Then I went back to my old routine. With 1 exception: anyone on Twitter knows who Justin Bieber is.

I’m between that 40 and 50 cut off on popular culture, and I get the Bieber phenomenon.  I don’t listen to his music, but I know who he is. A few of those I’ve spelled my name to like his music. 

My experiment with spelling my name teaches a social media lesson.  We have ways of communicating now that we’ve had for decades. They most likely still work. But we may have done them so many times that they are now routine and don’t engender conversations with people (or potential customers) we meet.  They are like the Christmas snow globe with the pretty picture, with all the snow dust glittering on the ground.

If we take what we know and add a dash of social media modern culture in those interactions, we shake the snow globe.  I may have been buying posters of Shawn Cassidy and Leif Garrett when Justin Bieber’s parents were babies, but I can still use the social media snow globe.

My challenge to you: shake the social media snow globe and see what new opportunities present themselves to you.

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