Who are you (really) communicating with?


By Doug Green

The cover of May issue says quite a lot in a few words. It highlights some of the key contact sites – like Facebook – for communicating around the world both socially and for business.

And these days we seem to treat every connection we make through these sites as ‘a friend’. We have a whole directory of people we contact, but don’t know personally. There are thousands of people on our ‘friends’ list but to have that many friends is just not possible.

Friends we have are usually those we meet for a meal or go bushwalking with. So who are all these other friends on line? People who want to connect with you to build up their contact bases – as simple as that.

This way of connecting, however, can be powerful and assists people to develop their businesses and social networks. The method provides a base.

The point is that to seriously get to know someone it is important to have a face to face relationship. To sit behind a computer and add people to your list is not usually taking you anywhere.

There are exceptions, I have to admit. Protests in the Middle East -the Arab Spring – have benefited by exposure on sites like Twitter and FaceBook and YouTube. The world has been able to see the atrocities and protests very quickly and this is a powerful way of illustrating such issues of concern and putting pressure on governments to change.

I expect that environmental issues like fracking will be highlighted this way and pressure brought to bear on companies like TAG and Shell to back off and heed the concerns of people around the world.


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