I’ve never been much of a people-person. Conversation isn’t one of my strengths and I admit my face-to-face interaction with actual humans can be a little stilted and awkward. Even with friends, I just can’t talk more than a few minutes without things falling flat.
Recently this seemed to have changed. In the past couple of years I’ve been able to slip into conversations and chat. There has been a marked increase in the number of in-person friends I have, and talking doesn’t spontaneously cease at the end of a subject.
Wait…hold on. Maybe not.
I’ve recently come to the realization that my hard-won social skills haven’t been improving as much as I thought they were. This realization came on the heels of finding out one friend was more than six months pregnant and another had left her husband almost a year previously. I had no idea.
Why did I not know these things? I talked to these two women weekly. Spent time with them on a regular basis. Face-to-face conversations! So how could I not know such important life-events about people who are my friends?
The answer was simple. Facebook.
Now, not being a social butterfly, I never got into personal social networking. I have author accounts on social networking sites but personal? No. I see my friends all the time, so why would I need to network online, right?
I was wrong. People don’t talk face-to face any more. Not about things that matter. Babies and engagements and divorces are all broadcast online to the masses in one general announcement. People send text messages instead of making phone calls. Group emails are sent to coordinate get-togethers. Talking in person? It’s reduced to the kind of meaningless chit-chat awkward folks like me can handle.
Well, I caved. I opened a personal Facebook account this morning and put friend requests out to a slew of people I see on a regular basis. Now that I’m hooked up online, maybe I can really get to know them.
Have you found online networking taking the place of personal social interaction? Tell me about your networking habits and experiences and you could win a copy of the 2011 HOUSTON FIREFIGHTERS CALENDAR.
Winner of past week’s prize, a PDF copy of RISKING ETERNITY goes to JESSICA B. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to claim your prize!