Monday, October 11, 2010

The Social Network

The movie The Social Network is all the rage right now (you can read my review of it over on my movie review blog here). It’s all about the founder of Facebook and the world’s youngest billionaire, Mark Zuckerman. Although his web site is all about friends, the movie shows how he lost some very good ones in his quest to create the perfect social network.

So how is your social network?

Like 500 million other people, I have a Facebook page. You can find me on it every once in a while but it’s far from an obsession. I have reconnected with old friends and it’s nice to be able to see photos of them and their families, but I crave more of a connection.

You can link in to co-workers, tweet your every thought and friend everyone you meet, but there is something to be said of a more intimate connection and by intimate I don’t mean a forwarded email sent to ten of your friends announcing that “It’s girlfriends day!”

A real connection involves some sort of connection – seeing someone’s eyes sparkle as they tell you a story or hearing the lilt in their voice when they talk about finally meeting the ‘one.’ The good thing about a real connection is that it doesn’t have to be a frequent connection.

As I crawled into bed after a wonderful birthday, my phone rang. It was an old friend from my high school days. We talk every two years or so. I got out of bed and we laughed and shared stories for the next 90 minutes. Anyone listening would have never known that two years had passed since we last spoke.

It was an intimate connection. It was a real connection with someone that I care about.

Now I do send well wishes and birthday greetings via Facebook or a funny e-greeting card. Some connection is better than none. But, picking up a phone or making a face-to-face visit when possible can never be replaced.

So while Facebook might be an important part of your social network, it should not represent your entire social network. Every once in a while, pick up a phone, go out for dinner and find a way to make a really connection and fully enjoy your social network.

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