News July 2013

Elusive friends… Like · Comment · Share

According to the latest statistics on network marketing, only 7% is carried out successfully online. (‘The Face-to-Face Book’, Ed Keller & Brad Fay). This is surprising given the power of the internet. It means that 93% of network marketing/small businesses still rely on people meeting people, face to face, building on mutual trust and real physical presence. This form of marketing depends on word of mouth referral or friends telling friends. The statistic highlights the fact that while we think we have friends online, and that social interaction via social media means so much, perhaps it doesn’t.

Social media friendships are not as real as face to face relationships and result in a world of online socializing with loneliness of epidemic proportions. People get caught in despair, desperation, sadness and depression that leads to inactivity. Unable to express themselves in ‘real’ life, they turn to the ‘made up’ version of themselves online and rate their social success by the number of ‘friends’ they have or the amount of ‘likes’ they get. How many ‘friends’ do you have?

The internet brings to us instant information at the touch of a keyboard which is highly beneficial. However, with it comes the very real risk of solitude, isolation and loss of the social senses.

The history of the indigenous people shows us how much importance they placed on getting together in Corroborees and exchanging stories, ideas, laughter and tears. This was done face to face, in groups. Like one big party, they enjoyed each others company as they explored the depth and meaning of life. Handing down wisdom from one generation to another, sharing skills and equipping the young for life ahead. We can do this online but it misses one important factor – the human factor, the touch and feel of another human being, intent on passing on love, knowledge and inspiration. Do you interact with your friends face to face?

We cannot turn back time, nor should we want to. But we need to balance online life with reality, to emphasize ‘real’ friendships and ‘real’ connections with people. The ‘real’ socializing aspect that gives us the ‘real’ feeling that we are not alone.

‘Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.’ (Leo Buscaglia, Author, 1924 – 1998)


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