Aided by social communication tools, are we becoming lazy communicators with lazy friendships?
Yesterday I posed this question on Twitter: do you ever feel that your use of social media is resulting in more, but SHALLOWER relationships? Even perhaps making long-term friendships shallower? A few people responded with a hearty AMEN and few people said NO WAY. How about you?
It’s not “social media’s fault”; the word choice of “your use of social media” was very intentional. The tools are what we make of them, just like the tools that came before. And you know I love them as much as the next
addict enthusiast. Through them, I have met all of you amazing people and I don’t take that for granted.
Here’s the thing, though, peeps. We must not lose sight of the fact that these *newfangled* communication tools will only take us so far in our relationships. They are better, IMHO, for forging new relationships – making initial connections – than at strengthening existing relationships. At least personal, individual relationships. Brand relationships, different story for a different day. I’m talking about human to human connection here. Mano a mano…Hermano a hermano.
A couple of examples. Last week, I had surgery. A close friend promised me a phone call to see how I was doing. Now, like many of you, I am not a huge fan of the telephone. Except, perhaps, with her and a couple of other *old* friends. Well the phone call instead became a comment on my Facebook. Seriously? ITS. NOT. THE. SAME. Not everything in life can be accomplished with a tweet or a Facebook comment. And sadly, I’m sure I’ve done this, too. In fact, I know I’ve done it. Yesterday. A close relative posted something on her Facebook about having a bad week and being in a wheelchair. Wheelchair? Really? I’ve owed her a phone call for months, but did I do it? Nah. Instead, reply to Facebook post: “Dude what up?” Man, that’s some deep stuff right there…I’m sure THAT will make her feel better and show her that I care.
I’m not saying that social communication tools can’t be used in a way that deepens relationships. Often, they can. But I am suggesting that our tendency oftentimes has been to take the lazy way out, using them as a poor substitute for communication that really needs to be happening in a deeper way, one that actually requires a little effort.
Your turn. Agree or disagree? See yourself in this post at all? Or are we all just a bunch of dynamic rock stars using social media beautifully to change the world one deep meaningful relationship at a time?