Social or not?
Some of you heard me joking about being antisocial. I am not really antisocial, in fact quite the opposite. My participation in online social networks is changing that. I don’t feel as social as I used to. All too often I feel like hiding. It is like a desperate need to tune out some of the rude anti social people who populate the online social network world.
There are people who follow me on twitter and demand that I follow them back. There are some who meet me on social networks an immediately begin pitching a product or asking for my help with something.
Please & Thank you
Some never say please or thank you or ask if I have some time. They show up when they need or want something and then disappear as soon as they get what they need. They take but they don’t give anything back. They don’t give me any reason to want to get to know them and they don’t take the time to get to know me but they call themselves friends and follow me around the internet. I can’t get rid of them.
The definition of the word friend has not changed. There are levels of friendship and some people in my life are more like casual acquaintances. Relationships formed online are just as valid as any other kind of relationship but the same rules apply to those relationships that apply to off line relationships. The internet may make meeting people easier but building relationships with those people still requires some social IQ.
Not miss congeniality
It is true I may not win any awards for being miss congeniality but it isn’t my goal to be a friend to everyone. There isn’t any reason for me to follow someone on twitter who has no social skills and there isn’t any reason for me to accept every invitation for a connection that comes my way through facebook. I can barely keep up with the relationships that I want to nurture. I don’t have an endless capacity for relationships of any kind.
Making friends or building relationships on line works the same way as it does offline. Words and phrases like please, thank you, how are you?, hello, goodbye and good morning work on the internet just as well as they do off line. Social networks only work for those who are social and who have the skills needed to build a relationship.