[image copyright the walt disney company, all rights reserved](http://disney.go.com/disneyvideos/animatedfilms/findingnemo/index2.html)
image copyright the walt disney company, all rights reserved

i’m a big pixar fan.

i love everything about their company. john lasseter’s drive to pursue his dream until it was fulfilled is something that we should all admire and look up to. then, there’s the unsung heroes of pixar — the animators. every pixar movie made is 100% animation. that means there’s no help from motion-capture tools or other technological devices. the animation is done 100% by hand on computers.

and, of course, there’s the stories! there’s a reason pixar wins year after year at the oscars for best animated movie despite competition from dreamworks animation, blue sky studios, and disney animation studios. that reason is their ability to tell fantastic stories that appeal to young and old alike. they’re stories that we all can learn from.

one of those stories is

finding nemo. we all know the story, so i won’t go into it in much detail. but after recently watching it, and with certain conversations still in mind, the story hit me in a different way than it had before. this time around, it seemed to speak directly towards social media.

anyone who is a proponent of social media knows the common stance held by its opponents: social media has many dangers surrounding it. i — and i think i speak for every social media advocate when i say this — never deny that fact. much like “the drop-off” in finding nemo, there are perils that you have to be knowledgeable about and cautious of.

but i come back to a quote that happens towards the end of marlin’s journey to find his son. while in the mouth of the whale — with his hopes seeming entirely crushed — he is talking to dory about why he needs to find nemo:

marlin: “i promised i’d never let anything happen to him.”

dory: “hmmm.. that’s a funny thing to promise…”

marlin: “what?”

dory: “well, you can’t never let anything happen to him. then nothing would ever happen to him… not much fun for little harpo.”

it’s after this exchange with dory that you begin to see a real change in marlin’s character. he realizes what dory says is the truth: life is not living if you’re not actually living. if you avoid experiences because of the fear of bad consequences, not only will you avoid those bad consequences but you’ll also avoid any potential good as well.

it’s the same story for social media. yes — there are risks — but if you’re afraid to use it, to be open and transparent, to be connected to your clients, customers, friends, and colleagues then you’re going to miss out on a lot of good. if you’re thinking of using social media within your organization, i ask you to do your homework. don’t make decisions based on overprotectiveness. seek out the experts, understand the benefits, find out how social media can help you,but don’t say no just because it’s the safe thing to do.

you could end up preventing your kids from growing into the person they were meant to be.