I can’t tell you how many times someone has called me and said, “If you can just get my business on Facebook, I know it’ll make all the difference.” I always tell clients that the Internet and social media are great tools, but not an end in themselves.
I sent out an e-vite to my book launch party a few weeks ago. Some people responded right away. Some people still haven’t responded.
Then I sent the print invitation. Some went to the e-vited, while some went to people who hadn’t gotten the email. Those who received both responded instantaneously to the print invitation.
Isn’t that interesting?
It confirms what I’ve always felt: that we can’t rely on distant communications to build real relationships.
It’s nice to wave hello to a high school classmate who’s teaching English in Asia (Hi Kevin!). That’s our only way to be connected at this point in our lives.
But for so many others, we also need that face-to-face, that familiar handshake, the I-know-you hug.
You see this with the cyber-bullying madness too. Kids are braver, meaner, when separated from the target of their torment by a computer screen, and a house, and a few miles. Face to face, they wouldn’t have the nerve to be quite so mean.
The more we rely on virtual connection, the lonelier we’ll be.