We all live in a digital age, and there is no turning back the clock. However, it’s certainly not an excuse to rely solely on virtual relationships instead of real ones in your job and private life.
Of course it’s much easier today to email, text or use a social media outlet to communicate with others, but it shouldn’t become a crutch for personal, meaningful relationships. After all, the basic foundation for nearly all good business communication is solid personal relationships.
Because of the time we live in, people still need the “human factor” more than ever. They are inundated with technology at every turn and need to feel they are appreciated and valued by more than a congratulatory email or text. I admit, picking up the phone and calling someone does seem antiquated in this day and age. However, there is something fulfilling about actually getting a person live on the other end and having a conversation. There are benefits to an actual call that just can’t be realized via email or text. Moreover, in person, face to face meetings do more to build relationships over any other form of communication. Meeting someone allows you to bond and connect with someone beyond the reason you wanted to meet in the first place. It allows you to connect on a personal level which in turn provides better and more fruitful business dealings in the future.
This might sound duh to a lot of you, but when dinner parties turn into eight people sitting at a table staring at their iPhones, maybe it needs to be reiterated.
Trust me: I certainly appreciate the availability of mass communication and the accessibility of multiple forms of communicating in today’s digital world. We truly live in a miraculous time. However, we cannot and must not lose sight of the tremendous benefits that actual, live, relationships bring to us. Like so many other things in life, it’s about balance.
The need to develop skill in fostering personal relationships is never more evident than with younger people just graduating college. They grew up in an age where technology was the first and accepted norm for communication. However, with new college graduates, it’s even more important for them to learn the subtle art of networking, connecting and building relationships with people who can help them on a personal and professional level.
So, the next time you are sitting at your desk after you’ve read this article and you are about to type an email or text someone, pick up the phone or better yet, invite them to lunch. Yeah, you’ll get old person jokes, but they beat a Facebook status any day.