How did we become comfortably numb to building relationships online?

2018 - Is there anybody in there

Pink Floyd.

If you’re remotely close to my age (cough cough…rolling toward fifty before I know it) then the mere mention of this band and their tale behind being comfortably numb conjures descriptions such as dark, disjointed, brilliant, and even crazy. Today, I see a lot of comfortably numb relationships happening all around me and it’s just scary.

Just nod if you can hear me…

We should all be concerned we are accepting friendship requests with the click of a button with no follow-through…and before all you Sales Navigator users say, “But I follow-through!” No. You. Don’t. A well-crafted autoresponder is not follow-through. You set-up a digital response to a human being. Meh.

In 2017, I wrote EVERY SINGLE CONNECTION on my LinkedIn a personal message whether it was about our first-time connecting, how could I help them this year, congratulations on another trip around the sun, a WOOT about new jobs, etc…..and there was a whole lot of “thumbs up” responses which is merely a nod that you heard me. (Again – How does one interact with a thumbs up? This feature needs to fade away like Blockbuster Video once did….)

Your lips move but I can’t hear what you’re saying…

Autoresponders are just that – lips moving but we can’t really hear anything except chatter drafted out months before because actual interaction is too much of a bother for the average LinkedIn user. Blah. It’s an excuse.

Dan Tynan wrote in a September issue of AdWeek.com that LinkedIn was “the polite social network” and you know what? We all must stop being polite and get real. (<- H/T to Real World for that one.) I’m done with the niceties. We don’t need another love fest, we need to really start connecting again as human beings for lots of reasons – but we will stick to the professional ones around our jobs.

This past Christmas, I sent out 273 holiday cards. Did it take a long time to write those out? Actually, it took a SHIT TON of time to write them out. (<—- That’s a very technical term by the way.) I made it a priority in my marketing plan in 2016 to hand write every single card with a personalized message AND putting the address on the outside of the card by hand this year, too. It meant something for me to do that…and you know what happened?

I had DOZENS of emails, texts, tweets, posts, etc. about receiving something so personal about how we met or their family or a hobby they enjoyed. It warmed my heart, but more importantly – it warmed theirs. It warmed them to the memory of what connecting with others really means.

I have become comfortably numb…

Be a person of action:  Ask yourself, “When was the last time I really looked at WHO I was connecting with and wrote them something personal about meeting them?” Be honest with yourself….have you become comfortably numb? Are you complacent with the canned verbiage supplied by the polite network so you just react instead of thinking about the person on the other end being a real person and having a chat with them? If so – make it a marketing goal to change this in 2018. You have time to pivot and stop reacting like the herd on the platform. Be different…be a human being.

2018 PINK FLOYD - connectedness

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