My name is Saul! I'm an award winning Word of Mouth Marketer, Professional Speaker on the subjects of Social Media, Customer Service and best of all... Word of Mouth. I collect Air Force One sneakers and think you should hire me... (as a consultant) to teach you how to get your company doing interesting things!
the smartest man in the world.

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Photos from the Drupal Conference in San Francisco, CA 2010

Friday, Oct 10, 2008
5

Social Media is killing my social life


Got friends? If so, sharing is caring -->


I don’t have a lot of friends.

Sure I have lots of Facebook friends and almost 10 thousand LinkedIn connections but with all due respect to the 5 Mohamed’s in India I really only know a few hundred of my friends/connections and I am cool with that because the smaller number of folks I do consider good friends are awesome.

So awesome that I love, respect, admire and follow everything they are up to via various social media sites. I love knowing what is going on with them because our lives sometime get too busy to actually chat etc.

Everything I just typed is probably something you have heard 100 different places before and I agree with you but something interesting happened to me the other day (twice) that got me thinking….So I am on the phone with one of my closest friends, I am jazzed and want to share some cool news with him and his response was “I know. I saw your tweet”.

He then went on to tell me about what he has been up to and while I knew all these details I am way more polite then he and acted surprised and interested.

Because of Twitter and Facebook I now know way more about my friends then I ever imagined and this actually makes it harder for me to be social with some of them. Having a heart to heart conversation with a friend about something you already know isn’t as fun as you would think.

I am pretty open on the Internets and probably only have a few secrets I haven’t shared…but life changing stuff I keep to myself or at least share with friends/family first. In the last week I have watched someone I know leave her husband and document it in her Facebook status, I have seen a friend lose a job and even someone admit to an illegal act.

These used to be things people would share with only good friends over a coffee and in confidence but now they are all public things and while I don’t mind because I enjoy the entertainment value of reading these developments I do fear that I soon will have nothing to talk about with the people I care for the most.

Am I alone here?

Response
  1. You are NOT alone.

    I had friends arrive last night and they prefaced their questions with "I haven't read your blog lately, so what happened with/to…"

    I think the way around this issue is counter-intuitive. Be less diligent about reading your friend's blogs & updates.

  2. I ran into this to the 100000th degree recently. Somehow I became in charge of planning my 10 year high school reunion (?! OMG WTF ?!), so I have been running around like a mad woman collecting phone numbers and email addresses, calling and emailing people … getting back in touch. The thing I keep running into? All these people I haven’t talked to, in some cases, in a decade know ALL about me, and I don’t know a damn thing about them. It’s actually a little creepy.

  3. Saul,

    I don’t necessarily have this problem. Luckily for me, my online life is fairly separated from my offline life in that most of my friends aren’t into the social media outlets. For me, it’s great because people in my sphere of interest (the internet), yet not in my personal life, are using these media to communicate their thoughts and ideas. I am happy that hardly any of my friends use Facebook or Twitter because of these reasons.

    -Jason

  4. I’m in the same boat as Jason. Most of my “offline” friends aren’t heavily into this social media stuff like I am, so I sort of have two group of friends now.

    However, as time goes on, my offline friends hear enough cool things from me that they want to participate too.

  5. Saul,

    Once again, brilliant insight from “The Smartest Man in the World”. Like everyone has said, I think we now have two groups of friends, face to face and online that behave very differently. Sometimes though, I do feel like there is a little too much transparency in Facebook and Twitter, don’t you think?

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