Oh, I Saw on Facebook...
I am a community builder and master networker. I like helping to build an ecosystem, make that ecosystem great and then continue growing the ecosystem. I've always believed that good people find good people. Sometimes I wonder though, in the era of social media, how many of our relationships are authentic? I recently penned a post on the comparison effect, that problem people face when scrolling through their social media and think gosh, why aren’t I as skinny/ famous/successful as this person? This led me to wonder, how meaningful are our connections with our friends on social media?
When Facebook first hit the streets in 2006, I was one of the first early adopters. I had an account as early as 2008 (Facebook was kind enough to remind me that this was my 10th anniversary with them). I remember an ad-free timeline where you saw actual photos of your friends and had to start all your status updates with Kate Is... When I first moved to Toronto, I used Facebook as a tool to connect with my friends and family back home. I used it to follow up with their lives and know what they were doing without being there. It was a way for us to stay connected.
As I've grown older, I find more and more we have less time to dedicate to our relationships. Between work, family obligations, kids and whatever else life has thrown your way, I feel like we rely more upon social media to help us maintain our connections to our nearest and dearest. Sometimes I wonder, why don't we ever pick up the phone or go out for a one-on-one coffee to catch up. I've found more in the past few years I no longer go out with people on-the-fly, but our meetings are all pre-planned weeks in advance, checked with partners and schedules. Rarely is anything in the moment.
I will say that specific social media tools have allowed me to become closer to some friends and have allowed me to have real-time updates into their lives. I've heard feedback that tools like Twitter have actually let some people to network and come together. This is great. This is what social media was designed to do.
Going into 2019 (where did this year go?) I've decided to work on my friendships. Social media is great, don't get me wrong, but I'm beginning to believe there is a time and a place for everything. I want to work on being more present in my friendships, instead of just commenting on photos or liking that recent Instagram post. I'd love to instead meet for a drink and hear about what is going on in your life. While I'm not quite ready to delete my timeline yet, I do want to take a look at my relationships and be a better friend.
2019 be ready for coffee dates.