I’ve been criticized ever since my online journey began back in the days of dial-up and AOL. (True story: I attended my first Bible study online in an AOL chat room.) Why do you spend so much time online?

It’s become such a common occurrence that I try to never use my phone in person, save a couple of selfies.

Case in point: A Birthday Party Tonight

https://www.instagram.com/p/BMIp-hXAjsS/

 

 

And, you know me, I have to grab a sunset.

View this post on Instagram

Great sunset. #ProHDRx #sunset

A post shared by Bridget Willard (@bridgetmwillard) on

The point is this:

All of the time I have spent building relationships online has always come back as a return — in humanity.

Human ROI

Relationships matter because people matter. The more you invest in people the more they will invest in you. This has never failed me.

Tonight, I was invited to a surprise birthday party for SMMOC co-founder (with his wife) Bob Watson. This group has been instrumental in my career change and path.

Last week, I told Bob as much and he recorded a small video on his Instagram account.

Of course, I wanted to join in the fun, see old friends, and wish Bob a very happy birthday!

Hugs Galore!

Though I knew I would be surrounded by my social media friends,  I became nervous (would anyone greet me? etc). So, my very good friend Jen Miller said she would be my plus one and it would be fun.

You know what? It was fun.

I had great conversations with people I haven’t seen (in person) in months or even  years. Yet we’ve been able to stay connected, and dare I say not superficially, online.

I engaged in personal conversations, was part of a running birthday joke, ate dinner, drank Diet Coke, cracked jokes. I felt like me.

You know why?

Because I was surrounded by friends. And they weren’t fake.

I was hugged by everyone. Because they’re real people. Real relationships. Real friends.

Why do I spend so much time online?

I spend time online because my friends are there. It’s not a chore. It’s not something I need to be unplugged from. It’s something that helps me feel connected to this world. Maybe I’m weird. But I think people value that time.

Spend time on social media creating, maintaining, and deepening relationships and you’ll always get back Human ROI.

Promise.

😉

10 Comments

  1. Justine Pretorious on October 29, 2016 at 8:13 pm

    Absolutely! Today was a perfect example of that for me! Going to WirdCamp Seattle and getting to see Robert in person was fantastic! We were both so excited to see one another in person! I feel the online connection really helped the in person connection.

    I don’t think of being online as a chore either because I know my friends are there too!

  2. ROBERT NISSENBAUM on November 1, 2016 at 1:09 pm

    I spend time online because I can make friends there. Online can be impersonal but it also removes boundaries. Friendships / relationships develop based on things that matter – what we believe, shared interests, being helpful – not on the superficial.

    I love my online world. Friends are always there.

    • Bridget Willard on November 1, 2016 at 3:54 pm

      I wholeheartedly agree. Thank you for taking the time to read and comment.

  3. Sammy Blackmore on November 6, 2016 at 5:43 pm

    Most of my real-world friends today actually started from being online friends. And it’s great having them.

    • Bridget Willard on November 6, 2016 at 6:45 pm

      Oh for sure! Me, too. Thanks for stopping by.

  4. Carol Stephen on November 12, 2016 at 9:50 am

    Hi Bridget!

    I love everything about this. And this:

    “Relationships matter because people matter. The more you invest in people the more they will invest in you. This has never failed me.”

    You put your finger right on it!

    Thanks for another great post.

    Love you!

    Carol

  5. Murnez Blades on January 18, 2018 at 6:48 am

    Personally, I think you are amazing. Soon after I begin participating actively in social media, I was offered a job by someone I met online and later had coffee with. Friendships matter, no matter where they are found. Bridget, you helped me more than you realize.

    • Bridget Willard on January 18, 2018 at 8:11 am

      That is wonderful news. Thank you for sharing.

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