Sometimes, in this day and age, social skills start online and then could be integrated into your person to person instances. Many people possess great communication and networking power online, but when it comes to face to face; some introversion can take hold. Being able to break open a conversation with a complete stranger in public can be difficult sometimes. Even making a “cold call’ on the telephone can be hard. Making that “cold call” on the many social media platforms makes it so much easier for all of us. There have been several times in the past where someone friended me on Facebook and I accepted them because I simply wanted more friends and connections. Recently, many people have sent me a friend request with something like “Hi, I see we have 47 friends in common and wanted to connect.” Great! I usually make the connection if it seems sincere. There have also been times where I have friended someone and they sternly shot back at me and said “I don’t know you!” No problemo. If you know anything about me, you know I love to reach out to people that I don’t know. Maybe it is the sales experience I have brought to the social media table that allows common rejection to disappear pretty quickly. I don’t have to “know” you to request a business connection, social connect, or possible friendship. In sociable media, we are able and permitted to reach out and ask for an online handshake back.
Social media is not something new, but taking it online kinda is. Remember when we were scared about anyone that we met online? If we got an email from someone we even thought we did not know, we used to freak out a little. We felt invaded; like someone was attempting to enter “our” world. Times have changed and we have now become used to someone asking for a connection. Many times it is a flattery of sorts if a “stranger” asks to enter our online world. And sometimes, if we meet those people in person after getting to know them online, we are like old friends that have not seen each other in years. Social media has changed our society.
After we have learned to initiate and make the proper advances online, we may be ready to take these skills to the streets. I am talking about learning some social skills and connection practices online, and then practicing them in public, when you go to the store, and while you are working – eye to eye, personal, in-person conversation. Some people have claimed that all of these online connections are deteriorating our outward society. Ha; take a look at the how much it is and can evolve our networking world if used properly. In the time it used to take us to make a few connections, we can now make hundreds. We can meet dozens of people in days with common interests, goals, employment, and missions. How many people have walked up to you in public and said “Hello, I want to be your friend.” Probably none, but many have done so to me every day online through social media and networking platforms such as Twitter, MySpace, Facebook, Blogs, YouTube and others. I believe this new media age is going to greatly improve community if we start thinking of “Social Media Backwards” and make a conscious effort to use it in public. Social media and networking builds community and allows us to take those relations deeper, and in much less time. It can and will improve your social skills and grow your whole life in general.