“In conversation, humour is worth more than wit and easiness more than knowledge.” – George Herbert
Love it or hate it, social media is here to stay. Most people use social media as a way of keeping in touch with friends near and far, showing how much their kids have grown and sharing their latest holiday photos. However, what people share on social media is like a highlights reel. It’s the new car, the romantic weekend away and the dinner in a fancy restaurant. It’s real, but it’s only the best bits, which gives a warped view of other people’s lives. They don’t post the mundane parts of their day, or their true feelings of loneliness and isolation.
I’m not immune to it either. I recently went out for dinner in a fancy restaurant with my husband and posted some photos on Facebook. My friends, as expected, commented on how fabulous it looked and what a wonderful night we seemed to be having. In reality, the meal was great but the service was slow, the lights were strobing and couldn’t be replaced so everyone ended up with a headache and couldn’t see properly, the music was too loud and incongruence to the setting, and all the diners around us were chatting (laughing actually) about how bad it was.
I met with a work friend in person the next day that asked how my night was and he got the full, truthful story. So why do we (myself included!) have this need to only show the best bits of our lives on social media?
Proper, real conversations in relationships are far more informative and meaningful, in everyday life, business and networking. When you only communicate with someone via social media, you think you know them but you don’t.
When it comes to business networking, you can’t build a trusting relationship when you’ve never had an actual conversation (email, text and instant messaging don’t count!). Our willingness to collaborate depends on building trust through conversations in relationships. I’ve always said that technology is an enabler, NOT a relationship! Emails and other forms of electronic communication are fine for virtual teams and will get things done, but nothing beats a proper face-to-face conversation for building worthwhile, lasting relationships.