Monday, April 18, 2011

Social Sanity - Building Meaningful Relationships

I have been enjoying building my presence online.  I love writing a blog and tweeting now and again.  Facebook and Linked in have provided me exposure to old friends as well as new job opportunities.  Most of all, I have learned so much from the people, boards, and conversation that goes on around me.  My blog enjoys readers from all parts of the world, who I think reciprocate by enjoying the blog.  I am not selling anything.  I am not looking for customers.  I do this for fun and learning.

But I realize that the social media scorecard is numeric.  To gain more reach would take significantly more investment in time by blogging more frequently, posting to bigger boards, and trying to get picked up by major services.  I would need to tweet incessantly, build a personal website, personal Facebook page and more.  I guess I have Twitter envy when I compare my 200 followers to my connections, each who seem to have at least 10,000 followers.  

I have a job, a wonderful wife, and great kids.  My day is made up of work, family time and trying to give to my church, my community and musical projects.  The more I dial up the social media, the more I take away from other important priorities in life.  This is true of many pursuits.   

So for me there is a simple question.  What makes me happy, and how does social media help?  Is the payoff a numerical goal of followers, likers, and hits to my blog or twitter, and is it worth the sacrifice of real social opportunities.

People can engage with a circle of about 100 people on an on-going basis. If you nurture that group alone, it will provide you a rich social connections, love, feedback, and the ability to provide a network of connections and referrals for various life scenarios.  

Social Sanity is found by focusing upon real social connections, real people.  Your connections should be of value and help you accomplish goals – whether they be personal or business.  They need nurture in order to grow and develop – and that takes time.  You might find more meaning, but fewer followers, over a lunch date with a few old friends than tweeting a random thought (which at times feels like shouting into a crowded room of people). 

When you know that you are taking time away from nurturing real connections so that you can build the numbers, you are making a trade off.  This tradeoff is something much worse than just wasting time.


Jim said...

Social sanity is 148.7: I truly question the social capital of people that exhibit high social media numerics.

Larry Clark said...

Absolutely agree w the post, and love the 148.7. Technology doesn't change people, it serves us. The hype on social media leads us to believe we're boundless, but our lack of connectedness to the "numbers" isn't a problem. Pretty sure I don't need two thousand friends.

Anonymous said...

waiting for next post