(This was my first ever post on LinkedIn and what I said seems to have struck a chord. That’s why I’m also sharing it here. Hope you like it!)
This question is not a huge, existential angst-filled, deep philosophical question. Instead, I mean “why are you HERE – on social media?”.
This is my first article on LinkedIn, even though I’ve been blogging here forever. It’s also a post that’s been rumbling around in me for over a year.
Back when I first thought of writing this post, at the start of 2016, I had just learnt that someone I had known and cared about for over 30 years was gone from this world. It was a big shock to me.
In the preceding few years, I had reconnected with this old acquaintance through our business interests, on LinkedIn and via our weekly email ‘Feel Good Friday’. With those links, even though I hadn’t seen him for many months, I thought we were ‘connected’.
But that was an illusion. We weren’t connected enough for me to know that he had become seriously ill and would die before I got around to seeing him again.
This sad event led me to reflect on the meaning of connection…
I love social media and the relationships, knowledge, sharing and thousands of ‘connections’ it has brought me since I started using LinkedIn over 10 years ago.
Social media platforms make it easy for us to stay in touch with more people than ever before. But if we believe that being here is keeping us connected with people who are important to us, then we are kidding ourselves.
We are not communicating, we are broadcasting. We may have some interesting interactions with others – whom we may or may not know in the ‘real world’ – but they are usually simple and ephemeral. Who knows, we may even prefer it to be that way because we have so many other demands on our time and attention.
Sometimes I may even choose to use social media because it feels quicker, cleaner and more efficient than having to deal with real people in real life situations. And most small business owners I know are in the same boat. We feel compelled to do our marketing here because it feels like we’re doing something. Perhaps we are using it to help us avoid what we really should be doing!
At worst, all this is a distraction from the connections we could be making.
I continue to use social media but I understand the relationships that matter can’t be sustained this way. They need time, attention and real conversations.
[Tweet “You will never know the connections you missed if you keep looking at this screen.”]
Go for a walk. Pick up the phone. Send a card. Have a conversation. Connect!
And so I publish this first article hoping something I’ve said will connect with how you’re thinking and feeling. Yes, I do see the irony here!
Please let me know what you think below… or give me a call, or drop me a line, or go talk to someone close to you.