Are Your Social Media Connections REAL Connections?

Are you real? Are your “friends” real friends?

In this social media enriched world, we are more connected than ever before, but are we REALLY connected? Are your Facebook “Friends” really your friends? If they are, do you ever show them the REAL you? I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately.

Social Media Buzzwords and Fake Gratitude

In a private Facebook group I share with other bloggers/web entrepreneurs I shared a rant today about the word gratitude… I’ll spare you the details, but my point was that the word was getting thrown around like a buzzword when no real gratitude was being shown, and I was irritated because I had done nothing to deserve thanks or gratitude. Anyways… I’m rambling, but my point is we all go through the grocery checkout line and ask the checker “How’s your day going?” And they always say “Good and you?” and you always say “Good”… but is it REALLY good?  I’m thinking about Kansas City Chiefs Linebacker Jovan Belcher… How many people ask him this question and what was his answer? I don’t know where I am going here, but I feel like we need to make more of a connection with the people we interact with daily.

So many people are out there surrounded by “friends”, but feeling so alone. We need to make an effort to be real with each other. To share our thoughts and feelings. To say what’s on our mind. If you do this you may irritate some people, but I also feel like people will get you… They will know you care, and if you are willing to ask sincere questions and give real answers when you need your friends your REAL friends will be there. You may also luck out and get a chance to help a friend in need. This may sound like personal advice, but it’s also good leadership advice too. Think about your staff… what do you know about them? Do they trust you? Are you real with them? or are you putting up a front?

If you are serious about building real connections you should look at Craving Connections: 30 Challenges for Real Life Engagement by Crystal Stine. In this book, she will help you create better connections with God, your friends, and your community.

For Discussion

How many social media connections do you have? how many are “real” connections? What can you do to connect better with others?

5 thoughts on “Are Your Social Media Connections REAL Connections?”

  1. Facebook has certainly changed the definition or perception of “friends.” I don’t know if I like it or not, but definitely my “close” IRL friends are different than the friends on Facebook whom I’ve never met. I’m pretty liberal on accepting requests on Facebook, but I also try to make real friendships out of those connections. It all depends on each of our personalities to make this work. I don’t know that any one way is wrong or right, but definitely we’re in a new era of relationships.

    1. Ya… I defiantly have two groups of friends. But I think what we call online friends share a category with a lot of real life acquaintances. My goal is to try to build solid relationships and teansition as many people over to the friends category as possible.

      I’m thinking about this more and a lot of people say it helps them maintain old relationships but I wonder how much is really about true friendship and how much is just voyerism…

  2. Day 33 of Gratitude Posts… today I am thankful for Brad, who got sick of the redundancy just like I did. 😉

    You make an important observation here, Brad. Social Networking isn’t just about selling and numbers – it’s also about connecting and relationship building. I believe more platforms will start to hone in on this trend and we’ll see greater emphasis on the quality of the interactions and not just the quantity.

    1. I hope you are right… it seems like no matter what though you will always have people who are doing it wrong. I’m REALLY working on increasing the quality of my interactions with people and not just the volume. I don’t know how the Klouts of the world will measure that. The good news is Google seems to be honing its ability to spot quality content so maybe quality relationships are next in line. I’d love to see a Google person rank similar to page rank that could flag spammers and jerks! Actually I don’t think I really want to see that it’s a bit “Big Brother like” for my taste… but I do think most of the social engagement tools are measuring the wrong stuff and easy to manipulate.

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