But Online Relationships Aren’t Real… Are They?

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What attracts us to people we build offline relationships with?

We’re taught not to judge a book by its cover; however that’s precisely what we do everyday.

If someone is attractive, or drives the right car, we think “that’s a cool guy or gal” and it would be great to get to know them…

Have you ever spent time with someone you thought would be sooo cool to hang out with and find with just a casual conversation a person was clueless, full of them self, a complete idiot, rude, or just plain not your cup of tea?

What’s the best way to get to know somebody?

One of the things I really enjoy about connecting with people on the social web is we are drawn to other people through conversation.

The best way to get to know someone offline or online is through communicating with them. If you want to know what somebody is all about, just listen to them talk and within a very short period of time they will expose everything about themselves.

Maybe not in a transparent manner in some cases, but either way, it’s very exposing to just listen to what’s inside of a person. I would say within 15 to 20 minutes max you’ll know if you ever want to talk to a person again or not.

On the social web, it’s not about stature, or looks, or how much money you have; it’s about what’s inside of a person that counts and you can only find that out by conversing with them.

Conversation is where the gold (relationships) is on the social web…

From blog posts like this one from my friend Jens “Be personal – Be Relevant,” which is precisely the mindset businesses need to possess to market effectively online, to comments like this one from one of my newest friends, Kaarina Dillabough:

“Mark, joining the conversation has allowed me to meet fascinating people, enjoy varying perspectives and let my thoughts and writing skills develop. Dipping a toe into the water just wasn’t my style: I plunged in head first onto those sites that have valuable content and vibrant interaction. I love the friends I’ve made, the lessons I’ve learned and the connections that enrich the tapestry of my life. That’s the upside.

The downside? I spend so much time reading interesting blogs, creating thoughtful (I hope:) comments, researching to the nth degree, that my own blog has suffered “separation anxiety.” I’m a voracious lifelong learner, so my thirst for knowledge combined with my pay-it-forward-extrovert-personality means I can become so immersed in all the greatness out there that I find myself like the cobbler whose children shall remain shoeless.

But I wouldn’t trade this experience for the world. It’s made me grow as a person and, in turn, made me even better in business. I’m lovin’ life and livin’ it to the max, and friendships, conversations, interaction and connections (what social media really is) are the spice of that life.”

What Kaarina has to say here won’t draw everybody to her, but the minute I read it I knew I wanted to get to know Kaarina and that we could potentially be good friends – because we’re like-minded and kindred spirits. Time will tell through continued conversation how strong our friendship will grow. That’s exciting to me.

Relationships Are the Substance That Hold the Social Web Together

The point is, this is what social media is all about and this is why the social web is here to stay. If you are participating on the social web with purpose and to build meaningful relationships online, your online friends will eventually become more important than your offline friends.

I’m involved with many projects because of the relationships I’ve built online, and everyday I’m interacting with them and getting things done. That’s how I earn money to feed my family and build value for our future. Relationships are the substance that hold the social web together.

The world is truly a much smaller place because of the social web and you now have access to very interesting people from all over the world; some of which you could one day call special friends.

How about you – are you leveraging the social web for building relationships that matter in your offline life?

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