The Value of Personal Connections
In a day and age where technology makes keeping in touch time and cost effective, it’s easy to forego the in person meeting and stay connected online. Recently two things happened that really got me thinking about the value of connecting in person. First, I met in person a friend and client that I originally “met” online. Second, I reconnected with family I haven’t seen in nearly 2 decades, and now we stay in touch through Facebook.
Yes, the internet is a great way to keep in touch with those you already know and it’s a great mechanism for meeting new people. However, I still believe there is no substitute for face time. Or at a minimum, phone time. Hearing a voice and seeing a face makes the relationship “more real”. At least that was my experience in the two scenarios above.
As a result I’ve been spending less time online and more time offline nurturing my in person relationships. And I must say, the benefits are many. Below are 5 benefits I’ve realized by connecting with people in person. Whether face to face or on the phone, put down the technology for a few and make time to connect eye-to-eye.
Stress Relief. Spending time with people you care about can help take your mind off what stresses you or provide an outlet for talking about it. Either way, personal connections are a great way to alleviate stress in your life, check in with values and identify what truly matters. Connecting with family? Share a hug. Research shows hugs can reduce stress, lower blood pressure and decrease risk of heart disease!
Support and Encouragement. Completing my first book, Networking for Business, would not have been successful without support from my friends, family and colleagues. They provided the kick in the pants I needed when I didn’t think I could possibly write another word and they celebrated with me when the book finally arrived from the printer.
Professional advancement. One of the most effective methods for advancing your career or developing business is networking. Nurture connections and your network will be filled with people you know, trust and want to help you succeed.
People helping people. Connecting with others provides the opportunity to lend a helping hand. Maybe your business helps people, maybe you volunteer, or maybe you are on the other end of the phone when a friend calls in need. And when you reach out to others, chances are they’ll be there when you need them, too.
It’s fun! My life is richer because of the people I surround myself with personally and professionally. I laugh harder and live with more joy. Smiles are contagious and sometimes an emoticon just doesn’t do. Sharing experiences and memories with others is truly priceless.
Personal connections are a key component to a healthy, happy and successful life. And I’m not going to push the technology aside for good. However, pushing it aside temporarily and replacing it with a walk, coffee meet up or even a phone call, has for me, helped strengthen any relationship I already have – personal or professional, online or offline.
What do you think? Do you spend more time online or offline connecting with people? Do you see more value in one over the other? I’d love to hear your perspective. Please share in the comments below.