Friday night, my daughters and I were shopping at target when Jenni asked,
“Why do you have 1800+ friends? You can’t possibly know that many people”
And, then yesterday, a friend asked this question:
Holy Moly! You have 1,834 Facebook “Friends”? How many of those *haven’t* you exchanged at least one message/comment with in the last year? Maybe it’s time to “Clean House”. I know. I know. It’s not nice to “de-friend”
To answer both questions, my hope is that stating, “it’s not about me, it’s about them” opens the door to a different perspective.
Let me try to explain.
While I can say that I haven’t personally shaken hands with all my FB friends, that doesn’t mean we aren’t connected in some way. (I really wish I could!)
Connected by our path, our hearts, values, ideas and opinions, Facebook is a tool to bring us together.
I’ve friended people from my past and present like:
- Jagran Boise Thomas, a commercial actor and stand up comedian who recently tattooed “be love” on the inside of his fore arm.
- Bruce Ammons, a minister from Houston, Texas who liberates families from their debts.
People I’ve never met:
- Rae Dawn Chong, daughter of Tommy Chong of “Cheech and Chong.” She posts notes to her FB profile that are extraordinary. Although I don’t always agree, she challenges me to reach. To expand my perspectives. To grow.
- Denise Ashbaugh, a woman whose teenage son was experiencing a medical mystery. I have walked that same path and was able to share openly and give her comfort. She is so thankful for her Facebook friends as we are a reliable source of strength and courage for her.
As a work from home web development coach, isolation, -clearly- is not my/our friend. Yes, I have local partners (Kym and Joe) who both live within 2 miles, but connecting with others just like me all around the world – well, that’s just cool. Yes, happiness loves company. My hope is that my happiness is contagious.
Unfortunately, there are those who see Facebook as a contest. To see who can get the most friends. Kind of like “whoever dies with the most friends, wins!” Or, as others might call them “Facebook whores” who don’t know a thing about the people they friend.
Then there are the contributors. Individuals who give freely in service to others. That’s me. I’m on Facebook not to promote what I do or my services – but to genuinely lend support to others. Occasionally, I may post a promotion because there’s real value.
Which leaves us with, the “fly-on-the-wall.” Folks who have friended people who they think might be interesting. They don’t say much, if anything at all… they are happy to observe, watch, and learn and nothing more.
Here’s a fine example:
A woman called my office friday… she had been on my ezine list for two years and finally decided it was time to move her practice forward (she’s a therapist). During this two year period, she poured over my advice and coaching materials. I couldn’t have asked for a better new client. She knows how I operate, what I expect, and what steps she needs to take – all because she’s been a fly-on-the-wall.
Because “it’s not about me, it’s about them” we allow ourselves to connect, interact and dance. To freely give information, knowledge and expertise allows us to help, assist, and empower. I want YOU to be empowered!
Here’s another example:
Last Tuesday the Executive Pastor of my church lost his job. Shock waves are still rumbling thru the community. But did Mark feel isolated, hurt and alone? Not for long! Mark’s social family stepped up immediately. He was flooded with support from all over the world. And, a bit of irony, check this out; the Associated Press picked up Mark’s story from his blog, and he was requested to apply for a Senior Pastor position in another state. Mark rocks!
You see, our world is changing quickly. Gen X has grown up in a “technology driven” economy… right before our eyes we are evolving into a “relational economy” which is what our previous generation aka. Baby-boomers grew up in.
Baby-boomers were taught ‘old school’ marketing and communication. Knocking on doors, cold calls and old fashioned service calls to prospects were essential to their business. Gen X sits behind a computer screen, a call center, or just sends an email. We need to get back to basics and combine the best of both generations.
Tools like Facebook and Twitter can help. We need to build relationships. We need each other. The SOUL of Facebook is only the beginning.