Sunday, October 24, 2010

Here We Go Again: Social Networks Should Add to Human Interactions - Not Takeaway

Harris Interactive this week released findings that state and I quote, “ Thanks to Social Networks, Americans feel more connected to people. But a majority say that they have less face-to-face contact recently as well.”

Really? Is anyone surprised by this?

What burns me about this poll is the fact that there are no probing, deeper questions asked about the state of people's relationships. Read the full story here

Whoopdee you feel closer to people you don't see because you know what's going on in their lives. Further, you have less face-to-face contact with people because of all the time you spend online on social networks. Does this seem jacked up to anybody else but me?

I've said it before and I'll say it again–people should not let social networks replace intentional  interactions with people. Facebook, Twitter etc etc - can enhance your relationships but in no way should serve as the only contact you have with people close to you.

We all have many levels of relationship with friends/family/colleagues. Facebook can facilitate maintaining long distance relationships but should not replace all contact with those distant friends/relatives/colleagues. For me, it serves as reminder to intentionally reach out and when I get no response repeatedly - those folks should not be surprised that I end our "friendship" on Facebook. I'd rather not know anything and have no contact than  pseudo "know everything" and have no real interactions.

Twitter, on the other hand, has been a great facilitator of information for me, my business and my network. Surprisingly, I've also had some quality exchanges and made some great connections.

That stated - I love these social networks because I am social at heart. They just amplify my normal way of being. I am saddened yet encouraged to read the Harris piece because it validates Relationships Matter Now, LLC mission. People - now more than ever - need assistance building and maintaining healthy relationships.

Let's be wise in how we use social networks. Let's commit to using them to enrich our lives with others vs replace our lives with others.

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