The World is Getting Smaller

Today I was speaking to a group of aspiring entrepreneurs about social media. It was the usual mix of people – those who are already highly connected through the world of social media, and those who hadn’t yet had the opportunity to learn about Twitter and were hearing the world “Linkedin” for the first time.

One my favourite parts about delivering a workshop is the questions and feedback I receive.

Today one of the “ah hah!” moments I heard from one of the participants, was that she had previously thought computers and technology were destroying our relationships and creating a rift between the younger and old generations.

She told me that throughout my talk, listening to the examples I gave of small businesses using social media, she actually ‘got’ how computers (and the internet) are bringing people together. She left feeling excited about the possibilities of connecting with people online, and I think a lot less intimidated by the technology.

She no longer believed the myth that social media is only for the younger generations.

My reason for telling you this is not to convince you to attend one of my seminars, but to share with you some thoughts that have started to arise for me – and to hopefully get your feedback.

Do you feel that social media and the web are bringing you closer together with other? Or are your relationships eroding because superficial comments on Facebook leave you craving a deeper connection?

For me, I feel joy when I think of the communities of people I have access to via Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Google +, YouTube, foursquare, UrbanSpoon etc…. the relationships I am fostering over time and space. I really enjoy posting a video that I found funny and sharing it for the enjoyment of my friends. Or finding out what my friend in Germany is doing this weekend. And I have also realized that these brief moments of connecting online are not in any way a substitute for long conversations and in-person hugs and smiles.

ConnectingOnlineHearing the laughter of a friend in real time as it bubbles through the telephone line or across the airwaves as we sit and drink tea will never be replaced with an “LOL”. But on the flip side, reading the comments on Facebook from my 83 year old Italian father-in-law who is across the country from me, is also something I treasure and allows us to connect in little moments that don’t elicit a phonecall.

In my life, I am finding ways to make space for all the various ways we connect and I am curious to hear how you’re doing it.

What is one example of a way that you are able to connect in this digital world that you feel helps build your relationships?

What concerns you about modern methods of communication?

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About the Author

Terri DaviesI’m a down-to-earth, technically savvy, modern marketing inspired designer, educator, and coach. I’ve been working online for nearly 10 years now, and early on realized I had a knack for spotting the remarkable aspects of a person or business bringing that online. I truly love what I do, and I am happiest when I am working with my team, making beautiful things for heart-centred entrepreneurs (especially when I'm doing that from my mobile office in a tropical country).View all posts by Terri Davies →

  1. Terri Davies
    Terri Davies11-30-2011

    I should also mention that I think we’re going to need education in elementary school on the etiquette of the digital era. Texting at the dinner table isn’t cool. Actually, showing respect to those who are in front of you by ignoring your smart phone is a good idea in a lot of social situations. When I went for dinner with my cousin the other day he asked me how I was doing while he was texting on his phone – as if he could actually hear my answer AND dialogue with someone else. How rude! ;)

  2. Lindsay Rose Turner
    Lindsay Rose Turner11-30-2011

    What a great blog post Terri!

    I am seeing (and experiencing) both sides of the coin here.

    I agree with you by saying that because of social media, especially facebook, I am more connected to people in my life, especially now that I live across the country from my closest friends and family. It is amazing how connected I feel when I can see my best friend’s baby grow up before my eyes through pictures and videos, and I couldn’t imagine my life without these ‘quick and easy’ long distance means of making this possible.

    On the other hand, I sit here in my living room, about 10 feet away from my partner, me on my laptop, he on his computer also browsing facebook at this moment. We haven’t said a single word to each other in over 35 minutes…. both absorbed in our ‘online connections’.
    Before social media was such a large part of our lives, this time normally would have been spent cuddling on the couch catching up on a favourite tv show, playing board and card games, or we more than likely would have been in the bedroom by now, where many of our ‘catch up on our day, and ponder life’s lessons’ conversations happen… (and amongst other possibilities that can happen in the bedroom! tee he he).

    I have been wondering for awhile now, if this draw to stay connected in the online world is causing segregation in our relationships that are supposed to be happening in our physical environment…..

    I definitely feel the need to create a set a ‘social media’ boundaries to suite the lifestyle I want to create, where staying in touch online is balanced with the ‘here and now, right before my eyes’ connections. I love your idea of educating our society, starting at a young age about this!

Sociability is a small business marketing, social media company with a focus on mobile web design and WordPress website design in Victoria, BC. We are also a social media consultancy with social media experts that are knowledgeable in Facebook for business marketing, Twitter for small business, and Linkedin for business. We have a team of website developers specializing in WordPress website design and responsive website design. If you’re looking to use WordPress as a website in your business, or integrate social media and modern marketing into your online presence, Terri Davies and her team at Sociability will take excellent care of you. We also provide social media courses for small business and non profits.