This whole social media thing is all over the place. I certainly talk about it in a lot of the posts I make here. It’s something I’m pushing for at work. I spend a lot of my personal time playing around with it. Whether on Twitter, Facebook, Foursquare or my blog, it’s something that I obsess over in the office and in my personal life.
I’m going to be cliche and I really don’t care, because the point is valid. This whole social media thing is supposed to be about connecting people socially. While it’s nice having lots of contacts on the Internet, it’s really easy to get lost in the shuffle amongst the masses in cyberspace. The point is to connect online with people that you might not have found otherwise, and then meet them face to face so you can have a real relationship. Not too hard, right?
This week I went offline and Tweeted up twice. Getting in touch through a mutual contact, Chris of Markitecture Consulting met at our office to chat about marketing for Architecture/Engineering firms. And then just last night I went over to #connectHR, an event designed for exactly this purpose, to get the HR Twitterati in the same room to meet each other. Brilliant, right?
Sure, you talk about work. Most likely, that’s what you have in common. But the best part is, you can actually get past that when you’re together and talk about who you are as a person. I had a great chat with someone who lives in Philly, where I grew up. I got to talk about my dancing with people. I heard what hobbies some of these folks have. I learned about the sneaker monopoly that exists in Portland (what?). I found out that many have kids. I could go on.
I’ll remember a lot of these people (and hopefully they’ll do the same for me) now that I can associate their Twitter handles with a face, a voice and a personality that isn’t limited to 140 characters.
Long story short: get off the computer and go meet people. It’s worth it, I promise.
Edited to correct my shoe sneaker mistake – thanks to Lance for the correction!