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.

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  • Positively Present

    Really great article, Stacey. Thanks for writing about this topic!

  • Karl Staib – Work Happy Now

    I think that it’s how we use the connections that matter. I really get value from both. There are people that I’ve never met in person who have inspired, encouraged and loved me.

    I do believe that there is a stronger bond with someone you meet in person. Just something about laughing together that makes two people’s friendship even better.

  • Tess The Bold Life

    This is really good. I just decided yesterday that I needed to put more into my off line friendships. My daughter and her friend are coming to visit over Thanksgiving so I’ll be blogging less and socializing more.

    I do need to do more off line networking and I also want to join a hiking group.
    Thanks for the encouragement.

  • Wendi Kelly

    Hi Stacey,

    I think I go in spurts.
    I have been doing a lot more off line connecting lately and found that I have been missing a lot of my on-line friends. Now I am re-connecting again with a lot of on-line friends and trying to find the balance. It feels great to get re-charged with like-minded people who share similar goals and dreams. I think I need a mix of both to really be content.

    My at home friends aren’t writers and don’t share that same connection I find on line. However, its great to get out, breath fresh air and get active too! Its very easy to spend the entire day secluded in my office or on the couch with the lap top. Having a friend to go work out with or head off to lunch with is a very good thing!

  • Stacey Shipman

    Hi Dani – No problem – it’s an important one to me!

    Hi Karl – I agree, being able to spend time in person really makes a big difference. For me it makes the person “real”.

    Hi Tess – Sounds great! too bad you don’t live near me – I lead hiking groups locally!

    Wendi – How are you? Good to have you here again! I love getting out and connecting with people. Like Karl said, laughing together is priceless. Striking the balance is the challenge.

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