Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and all the things in between connect us to the world.
We can communicate with anyone, anywhere, any time we feel like it.
We can interview for a job from our kitchens. We can end a call as we buckle up for takeoff and reconnect the call through a wifi connection tens of thousands of feet in the air. We’re connected.
I love that I can come to you on Friday’s and talk live to a vast audience.
But what kind of connection is it?
There’s this idea that, with social media, we have created a community. In my experience, social media helps keep me connected to my communities, but social media itself is not my community.
We now make friends and connections based on a common interest or need. And it is so awesome to get questions answered or have a discussion around something important online.
But we are missing something in those many conversations.
I see you, seeing me avoid virtual eye contact with you.
And that’s what we’re missing. Direct human face to face contact.
Sometimes, it’s easier to avoid direct contact with others. We might feel that we only want to limit it to just a few.
But in the case of a situation we are living with that requires lots of support at times, we shouldn’t avoid eye contact and voice conversation.
A personal connection opens more doors for learning and sharing and realizing that you are not the only one who has ever faced THIS (fill in the blank).
On a personal note, I completely understand why looking at the screen can feel safer than facing others. But I can tell you that it does make a difference.
And while you might feel that you are a part of a community; real communities are made with human direct interaction.
There’s something about hearing a person say something that makes it even more real. So I encourage you to find a group outside of just online interaction that you can become a part of. Find a physical way you can have a cup of coffee with someone who understands where you are.
I bet you’ll leave feeling better, and more connected to a real community.