Here’s the thing, as much as most of us LOVE social media, as much as we engage…, there is nothing like a face-to-face greeting or meeting. There is nothing like that chance to sit down and actually have a conversation where real eye contact can be made. It is easy to forget, as we sit behind computers or drone on from go-to-meeting to webinar, what it’s actually like to shake the hand of a new contact or embrace friends. It is easy to forget what it is like to have a conversation longer than 140 characters or less. It is easy to forget that we don’t have to speak in status update format and wait for a thumb’s up “like” or a bazillion comments to justify our existence. It is easy to forget that sometimes you don’t have to ask permission to be a friend, you can just do it.
And guess what (best part)? There is no deleting in real life. There is walking away, which is far more satisfying,by the way. And you don’t need to look on your home page to see who is checking you out, You can simply turn around.
This is a good thing. And just like most good things, they usually come back in style, unlike shoulder pads and stirrup pants- dear God, I hope they don’t come back in style. And just because it’s in style doesn’t mean someone can wear it well. Remember lycra for God’s sake… After all, there are many performing artists that fail at live performances. Stick to the studio or movie screen. Not everyone is cut out for the handshake, the meet and greet. The bottom line is that it comes down to knowing people, learning about people, engaging with people. Hiding behind an online persona or no persona at all is a big, fat fail. People do business with people they know. People do business with people they like and trust.
Sometimes, you just have to drop the media from social media and be social. Remember when your mom told you to say thank you and please? Remember when you were told to sit up straight or your dad prompted you to shake someone’s hand? How about when icebreaking games were played at parties? Let social media be your icebreaker but not your party.
The party is after the IRL (in-real-life) handshake, not before.
Rayanne Thorn, @ray_anne is the Marketing Director for the online recruiting software company, Broadbean Technology. She is also a proud mother of four residing in Laguna Beach, California, and a contributor for Blogging4Jobs. Connect with her on LinkedIn.