Is social media making you a lazy communicator?

By Srinivas Rao, Contributing {grow} Columnist

We live in a world where people are in a real hurry.  Getting things done as efficiently and quickly as possible has become a calling card for humanity and it’s bleeding into our social interactions. This isn’t necessarily a good thing.  We’ve reduced our communication to the shortest possible route from point A to B.  It isn’t exactly a smart intimacy strategy for social media.  The technology that has enabled us to connect with people in a way we never could before has made us lazy communicators, maybe even lazy marketers.

Let’s look at the hierarchy of social communications — and their impact on REAL connection …


Social sharing is the lowest hanging fruit in building relationships because it’s so easy. With the push of a button you can share someone’s content. So it’s no surprise that somebody with 100,000 followers considers a tweet or social share a blip on their radar. When was the last time tweeting the blog post of somebody famous actually resulted in a real connection with that person?

“Thanks for the RT” is something every one of us has typed when somebody shares our content (myself included).  But consider this. That’s not starting a conversation. That’s ending it.  How many conversations do you end every single week?


In the hierarchy of value, comments outweigh social sharing. A well-constructed comment takes time and effort.  Let’s look at this outside the online world for a moment. How close are you to the friend who you talk to once a year for 5 minutes at a Christmas party? That takes no more effort than bumping into them, so you don’t really form a bond. When you comment on somebody’s blog regularly, it’s like going out of your way to meet with a good friend on a regular basis. You’re giving a gift!


One of my best friends doesn’t use social media. I started to feel like our friendship had suffered and that he didn’t value my friendship anymore.  We hadn’t spoken in months. One day I sent him an email and I got a response a few hours later.   Comments might be  easier to accomplish than sending somebody email because this requires initiating the communication.

Phone Calls

How often do you pick up the phone and talk to somebody? In his book Double Double, author Cameron Herold said that one of the best ways to get mainstream media attention for your blog or business is to pick up the phone and call a journalist because they are so used to receiving emails these days.  Digital communication has made us lazy and we often overlook what WORKS!

In-Person Visits

This is the pinnacle of putting effort into your relationships. One of my friends who is not a very well known blogger made it a point to use his frequent flier miles to visit every blogger he had talked to on Skype in person. He’s the kind of friend from the blogosphere I’d invite to my wedding.  He’s not that active on social media these days, but he invests effort in the relationships he’s built. If you met five bloggers you know in person you’d get more value than having 500,000 visit your blog in one day.

There is undoubtedly a hierarchy of value in social communication. If we intend to really get the most out of our social media efforts, I think we need to get back to putting real effort into our relationships, or at least some measure of balance in the way we communicate.  Have you become lazy when it comes to building relationships online? Does this make sense to you?

Srinivas Rao writes about the things you should have learned in school, but never did and his the host-co founder of BlogcastFM.  You can follow him on twitter @skooloflife


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