Social Media Oddities – Checking In and Tuning Out

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.



About Robert

Entrepreneur, musician, urban yogi
This entry was posted in Business and Entrepreneurship, Health and Resources for Positive Living, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Social Media Oddities – Checking In and Tuning Out

  1. I’ve noticed that plenty of social media mavens are socially awkward in real life. There must be a reason why so many of them are plugged into virtual reality more than physical reality…and dealing face-to-face with their brethren humans.

    This is not to say that all social media mavens are socially awkward, of course.

    A lot of people feel shy in social interactions, especially in big crowds. The trusty smartphone is a convenient companion. Mixing with a large mass of strangers is not a natural skill. Maybe you can give a talk, blog, or write more about this phenomenon.

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