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.
Hearing 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?