I have been reading recently about the psychological aspects of social media and the online medium of communication (I will be posting in the next couple of days my thoughts and research). As many of us can attest to, we have created some relationships online with people across the country and on the other side of the world. You can categorize some of these relationships as relatively strong compared to your offline friendships.
I have always been under the assumption that online friendships can be just as strong as their offline counterparts. They become even stronger when you combine the two (meet offline after meeting online or vice versa).
I have been spending a lot of time recently on FriendFeed. I have communicated with some amazing people, sharing in some laughs and conversations that have been extremely satisfying. There has been something that has been bothering me though and that is the beautiful disturbing aspect of Social Media: not being balanced.
Unfortunately (or fortunately depending on how you look at it) I have a self-diagnosed case of an addictive personality. I become literally obsessed with certain things for unspecified amounts of time. It has been a good thing for my business and a ‘not-so-good’ thing for my personal life. I have been addicted to social sites like Friendfeed, Facebook, and Seesmic.
It is beautiful (I have met some great people) and yet disturbing (I have neglected offline relationships). I have finally figured out that the name of the game is balance. Isn’t that true in everything we do in life? Balance seems to be the name of the game when trying to magnify experience and learning.
Balance your offline and online relationships. When the opportunity arises to combine the two, don’t hesitate. You will not regret it.