Social Media Made Me Anti-Social

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Social media has transformed the way that we connect.

Between the likes, tweets and pokes, I’ve realized that there’s a fallout from social media: it’s made me anti-social.

Saw this post on Facebook today, from the one and only Chris Brogan, talking about how it’s not natural to have thousands of friends.
Chris Brogan Quote













As usual, he’s right.

Social media provides us with technology that can create some unnatural (and unmanageable) situations.

People aren’t supposed to have thousands of friends.  But:  I’m glad that I do, and I value the connections as best I can.  But I don’t have time to comment and connect as much as I’d like to – maybe you feel the same way?

And, while the emphasis is on the conversation, some of these numbers are just unmanageable when it comes to connecting in a real way. How can you really be a friend to thousands?

Automation is not the complete answer, although it helps.  Automation solves the problem of time management, yet it’s not a replacement for a real connection.

How can you filter these connections effectively? I mean, which connections really matter, and how do you know which electronic friends are most important?

Of course, all connections are important on some level – but if everyone is special, then no one is.

The ability to connect with countless thousands is important to me, to my business and my personal brand. Probably means a lot to you – in fact, you may have landed on this post due to something you saw on a social media platform.

So, let me ask you: How do you manage your electronic connections effectively? Do you believe that social media has made you anti-social? Is it possible to be truly social, if you’re sitting in front of a keyboard?

I’m concerned that we’re losing our ability to connect, face to face.

Do you think the art of conversation is dying? Text me your answer and let me know.

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US National Elevator Pitch Champion. Keynote speaker. Author. Business coach for Fortune 100 companies, entrepreneurs and high-growth organizations. Married with two daughters, based in Houston, Texas USA.
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Showing 15 comments
  • SteveWoodruff

    Social media has made me dramatically MORE social. Because by it, I can “pre-meet” many more people than I ever would have, leading to deeper (and often IRL) engagement.

    • westfallonline

       @SteveWoodruff I admire the way that you have leveraged social media, Steve.  And just as @BruceSallan says, “I’m never disappointed” when meeting IRL!   I just hope that I can connect across all the various platforms, and sometimes it feels a bit overwhelming.  The ability to “pre-meet” folks online is they key – that makes a huge difference, and is definitely a positive!

  • BruceSallan

    Like everything, it’s a mixed bag. I have gained SO MUCH from Social Media and lost only one thing – I hardly speak on the phone anymore. When I do, it’s fun and refreshing. I’m now able to have many more relationships which vary from completely “virtual” to IRL. I love the mix of people I “meet” and when I do “meet” them IRL I’ve NEVER been disappointed and the existing relationship has only been enhanced.

  • nickkellet

    Social Media has made me social. It’s allowed me to live far from any big city and build a business. I can travel and connect ahead and meet people where ever I want to go.
    It works both ways. I’m more accessible to many. And many are accessible to me.
    You still own the responsibility of going deep. You have to connect with people by learning what they need and therefore how you may be able to help them. And likewise. And yes you can do that on Skype or Google Hangout.
    I now travel more willingly because I know I can get more value from traveling. Social URL and Social IRL work much better together. That’s my experience. 

    • westfallonline

       @nickkellet I like your perspective and am working to make it my own – I like “the responsibility of going deep”.  Still struggle a little with cultivating all the connections; I do the best I can.   Skype has been important for me as well – “URL and IRL work much better together” – well said!

      • nickkellet

         @westfallonline  @nickkellet We should fix that with a skype call!

        • westfallonline

           @nickkellet Let me know when!  I want to talk about all things BC as well.  Select a couple of times right here: and let’s connect 

  • TobeyDeys

    Recently, I’ve let real life totally mess up my social media 😉 I’ve made extraordinary connections (and real friends!) thanks to the ersatz parties that are social media. As @SteveWoodruff says, they did make me much more open to ‘meeting’ others; as an introvert (read hermit), the comfort of my keyboard allowed me to more easily initiate. I did, however, find that I was spending TOO much time at my keyboard so now work on a healthy balance. As always, @westfallonline, a thoughtful post! ~ peace

    • westfallonline

       @TobeyDeys  @SteveWoodruff Do introverts have an advantage in the world of social media?   I think so!  I need to find these parties that you’re talking about…. 🙂

      • nickkellet

         @westfallonline  @TobeyDeys  @SteveWoodruff I’ve had conversations with several people I’ve met via social media who explained how they hated social events IRL – by their own admission they were/are introverts. Since social media’s birth they have become an expert on SM. It’s given them content and a domain of expertise that’s let them engage with confidence in real life events. It has changed their outlook on life and their whole demeanour
        I half dismissed it the first time I heard it, but I’ve since reheard the same story and it’s really begun to resonate.

        • SteveWoodruff

           @nickkellet  @westfallonline  @TobeyDeys Absolutely the case for me. I am not a native networker in a “live” situation. Social media lets me get introduced to people in an easy and controlled situation, so that when we see each other (finally!), in a real-life social setting, it’s like a reunion.

  • profkrg

    I’m not sure that the art of conversation is dying so much as we’ve changed the way that we define relationships. We call people “friends” who clearly are not our friends. We say we know people who we’ve never met. We send and receive information to thousands of people a day who we couldn’t identify by name if we saw them. We have conversations only with the people who truly are part of our lives. You’re correct, all the rest just isn’t sustainable. It doesn’t mean we don’t wish it was—it just isn’t.
    Great post. Interesting thoughts. 

    • westfallonline

       @profkrg I like your perspective – changing the way we define relationships.  It’s hard to be a “real friend” to an electronic friend…so, why even try?  The challenge isn’t with social media – it’s with applying outdated values to the new normal.  So, YES – Redefining the relationship is the key!  You’ve provided an “Aha!” moment for me.  Thanks for your comment!

  • joostharmsen

    offcourse is the art of conversation dying! The only communication that we have is on the internet, and it’s whitout proper grammar!

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