Sunday, December 20, 2015

The Curious Case of Social Media Conections

Social media is one of the most intriguing and game changing technology inventions of this era. People are more connected than ever across the globe. You can now be on the other side of the world and continue to have regular contact with friends and family whenever you want. From Facebook to Instagram to Twitter and LinkedIn, there are so many ways to connect with others.

However, what if I told you that more and more we are becoming disconnected? That's right, while we have so much access, I believe it is in many ways lessening the human to human component. Take LinkedIn for example. Its a very professional site where people are supposed to become "connections" with each other for the purpose of networking and helping each other in their professional endeavors. While many people connect with each other I find that the gigantic percentage of people just accept a connection request and then never actually connect with those people in a message, email or phone call. I find that very fascinating! In fact, when I connect via message with each person that accepts my connection request, many people want to know if I am researching something or they will ask why do I want to know so much? Its like people are conditioned to create this volume of connections without actually getting to know them. Strange.

I can tell you this, if that's your game on social media, to collect friends, connections, etc. without any real human connection then what are you really doing on social media? I asked myself this question a few years ago and it led me to really pair down my social media feeds to people I actually talk to or have had a conversation with. Also, whenever I connect with someone I always send them a thank you note and ask them questions to learn about them. Social media is networking and you can't get to know people unless you ask them questions and gain more insight into who they are as people and what makes them tick professionally and personally.

Do I have the most friends on Facebook? Not even close. Does my Instagram have hundreds of thousands of followers? Again, not even close. However, what I am building is a slow and meaningful approach to connections. Its one that allows me to have meaningful phone calls, emails and in person meets with people almost every week. The real goal of social media is to be a vehicle for helping people get closer to each other to help each other out. Ask yourself...are you doing this?

Until next time...

Dr. D
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