“We may enjoy online relationships using social media sites like Facebook or Twitter, for example, but the difference between these kinds of interactions and interactions with people in the physical world is clearly vast,” according to Alex Lickerman, M.D. In his recent article in Psychology Today, Dr. Lickerman wrote:
As long as we expect no more from these online relationships than they can give, no good reason exists why we can’t enjoy the power of social media sites to connect us efficiently to people we’d otherwise not touch. The problem, however, comes when we find ourselves subtly substituting electronic relationships for physical ones or mistaking our electronic relationships for physical ones. We may feel we’re connecting effectively with others via the Internet, but too much electronic-relating paradoxically engenders a sense of social isolation.
In response to the article mentioned above, Alexandra Samuel (a frequent contributor to the Harvard Business Review) chose to accentuate the positive benefits of social media. In her blog post entitled, “4 Ways Online Communication Can Build Relationships,” she wrote:
In a world of job changes and social mobility, it’s easier to socialize with the friends in town than the pal who has known you since college. But nothing substitutes for old friends — and if there’s one thing that Facebook has done brilliantly, it’s the way so many of us are now back in frequent contact with the friends we knew in previous lives. Invest in regular check-ins with your old and dear friends, even if those friendships have lapsed; after a few months of loose contact by Facebook and Twitter, looking at each other’s news and family photos, you’ll be ready to pick up the phone or plan a visit.
See my previous post: “Social Media May Help Save Abandoned Treasure!”