We Need More Contact, Not More Connections

We Need More Contact, Not More Connections

I have several thousand Facebook Friends and Twitter Followers.

I have a few hundred contacts on LinkedIn.

There are only a handful of any of these that are actually friends who would help me move furniture, or drop me off at an airport.

We have any number of ways to connect to people – social media networks (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn), email, telephone, SMS, Skype, Chat, yada yada yada.

Few take the time to actually make meaningful contact.

I don’t mean a pitch – I mean, create a lasting, personal relationship with the people we titularly are “connected” to.

The past ten years have seen the transition from conducting business primarily in person to conducting business mostly with people we may never ever meet in person, face to face.  Over the past two years, the majority of my business has come from people I have never met in person, and may never get to meet.

I’m not saying this is a bad thing.  But I am saying that this loss of personal contact has caused us to be less effective communicators, rather than more effective.  Seems counterintuitive, what with all the “friends” we have.

In fact, I posit that the abundance of choice in the number of ways that we can communicate clouds our judgment over how we should communicate.

Sure – it’s funny when you see a cartoon about some dude doing the “crackberry prayer” at Thanksgiving Dinner.

Till YOU do it.

I received an email notification from an automated system this morning telling me that an app had failed a certification process.  The offending incident wasn’t actually a flaw in the application itself, but rather was a one-off issue with another service that it relied upon.  A two minute phone call would have adequately communicated this – and now, the basically identical software must be resubmitted to be tested again.

Sure – the communication mechanism served the person reviewing the software beautifully; it failed me miserably, and in the process has added two more weeks of lag time to the release of a new version of software.

All because it was too big of a pain in the ass for somebody to pick up the phone for a two minute call.

We need to make sure we are contacting and not merely connecting.

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