Do you or someone you know fit this description?
- Online social networking maven
- Plethora of followers, friends and fans on various online networks.
- Smartphone is ALWAYS in your hand (preferably in the hand that normally shakes hands).
- Prefer to check who is pinging you rather initiating or carrying on a conversation with real life human being in the same room with you.
- Priority of Checking in rather than really actually developing tangible connections.
Unfortunately, I’m easily identifying the above types far too often in public and other social settings. Recently, I was at a social media holiday event where I was unable to penetrate the eagle eyes of several individuals who were focused as intensely as you could ever imagine on their mobile devices. At least one person, did look at me for only a second to tell me his name, but it felt more like I was interrupting him.
The majority of guests at the event I mention above are probably thoroughly skilled in online networking, but some really needed a reminder on offline interactions and basic etiquette.I don’t even realize the people consumed by their phones were being rude.
If I’m at an event where I might not know anyone, I’ll simply walk up to someone and introduce myself. If people are in a group, I might walk up and say, ” Hello – may I join your conversation?” There are number of ways to engage, but do consider engaging. If you are shy, ask a friend to join you. Having a wing man or woman is not only good for meeting members of the opposite sex but for basic ice-breaking.
I’ve never been “that guy” (raising my eye brows sarcastically with minimal effort). Most of us have been there. My guess is that people simply forget people are around them and/or the device becomes more of a crutch to not engage in a potentially foreign environment.
Improve your offline skills does pay dividends which might include
- Expanded network which increases your value as a connector (i.e. social arbitrage)
- New friendships
- Potential career opportunities
- ___________ (fill in the blank)
When you go out this month to a holiday gathering, consider engaging with your fellow human, they probably won’t bite.