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
And, you know me, I have to grab a sunset.
The point is this:
All of the time I have spent building relationships online has always come back as a return — in humanity.
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!
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.