Being Connected Isn’t the Same as Being Social

I’m connected to my extended family – cousins, an uncle and assorted other relatives beyond my immediate biological circle.

I know some of them. Others I couldn’t pick out of a crowd. Nevertheless, we are connected.

But we are not social.

We don’t hang out. We don’t call or write beyond the annual holiday nod. We’ll say “good job” for a graduation or promotion, or make a donation to a favorite charity, but then it’s back to normal – back to connection without conversation.

Being “on Facebook” or “on Twitter” doesn’t make you social. Having lots of friends or followers isn’t social. Reading blogs, watching YouTube videos, adding someone to your LinkedIn network aren’t social activities. Consumptive and connective actions, yes, but they are not social acts by themselves.

Take a moment and look at your online connections. How many do you really know? How many could you pick out of a crowd or have you talked to (not “liked” or “re-tweeted” but really talked to) in the past 30 days?

You blog. You are active on Facebook and Twitter. You use LinkedIn; you check-in on FourSquare; you buy Groupons. You are all over social media.

You are connected. But are you social?

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