I’m a social media junkie. I’ve had a Pro account on Flickr for years and years. I was the first person I know to actively use LinkedIn. I’ve been a Facebook fanatic since just after the service was opened up beyond the walls of academia. Admittedly I was a bit slow on the uptake with regard to Twitter, but I certainly qualify as an active user these days. And yet…..
And yet, I found the “relationships” I was building with these services to be lacking in depth and meaning. Sure, it was great to “connect” on LinkedIn with other like minded folks, and even better to rediscover old High School chums from 20+ years back. Catching up with what they’ve been doing for the past 20 years is rewarding and gratifying: seeing pics of them, their children (and in some cases grand-children) is very nice – quaint even.
But was I truly connecting through these services? It didn’t feel that way. I felt more a voyeur than a friend, catching glimpses of people lives, and not truly connecting. That’s all been changing recently. I’ve consciously been changing my routine and pushing my boundaries in an effort to maximize the value I contribute to and receive from my social networks.
Below are three things we can all do to ensure we’re fully engaged with our social networks.