I Want to Be Friends…

I am feeling differently about my social media. I am very careful the way I word that. I do not mean that I have outgrown, matured past, moved to a different level, grown tired, gotten better, become worse or any other judgemental idea. I have always believed, and continue to believe, that social media behavior is a lot like parenting – there are some things that are obviously tacky, others that are wrong, some that are downright criminal, but outside of that, we all raise our kids our own way since we know them best.

In my area, I was a very early adopter of social media. I enjoy it and it suits me. Professionally it is a fantastic tool and personally it is a great outlet. I am fairly open and relational. I met a lot of people. A lot of great people. I have a bunch of folks from my local community, childhood in my circles. I have over 2000 emails in my personal email cache, over 2100 Facebook friends, and over 700 Facebook followers.

I do not want to do this anymore.

Now before Todd Carpenter gets all excited that he has won, let me explain. I do not think I have been handling my social media incorrectly. If there are those who still choose to deal in high volume, that is wonderful. I understand the stance. I support it. I think it can be very effective when appropriate.

I no longer feel appropriate.

We are losing our battle with all that is personal and real about our business. Every day I can look at a list of phone calls only partially returned. Driving home, I think of what was not accomplished, instead of what was accomplished. The gnawing feeling continues. That families are sitting waiting for a call from us, waiting to hear the word on a contract, or a General Manager’s thoughts on an upcoming season. We are pushing numbers around, doing our best, but is there any real satisfaction in success without pride? Is there any real satisfaction in a success that exists only when we push the messiness of real human contact from our lives and minds? When we learn not to care enough about the very guy we promised the world to, just to get him to sign. Or to let it bother us that a hockey player’s son is worried about his dad getting that fifth concussion. – Jerry Maguire

So today during a particularly introspective time of prayer and contemplation, it occurred to me that deep sixing the social media profiles was a good idea. Nix it all – Facebook, linked in, (choke) twitter (choke). Keep the email, blogs, phone and text. Why? Those things foster real relationship, real community.

This idea has been floating around. Clint, Mike and the like will tell you – twitter follow suggestions should come with a reason. Connections should come with a purpose. Relationships should be, well, relational.

So, I don’t leave without warning. That isn’t the purpose. I am trying to enrich relation – not destroy it. An amazing thing happened – there was connection. And there was confirmation. I had someone say it was sad to reconnect after 20 years and then I am gone – when the truth is we had not “connected” – we had simply “friended.” Would I like to connect with her – you bet your britches. She was a wonderful person then and I am certain she is wonderful now.

In closing, I have been vetoed. I will not lie – the coax to stay will boast my ego for at least the next five minutes. I am not unreasonable. I understand that I may be behaving over zealously (It wouldn’t be the first time). So, I will adjust my thoughts.

I am taking a play from Todd’s book. Sometimes in that there are mistakes made. I was momentarily worried about that. But then I realized…my friends, should they fall victim to my minor mistake of social media faux pas, will forgive me 🙂


  1. Kimberley Elmgren Gatch says:

    We are blessed by your presents here. Glad you are staying, at least for now ; )

  2. I totally understand. But my rule of thumb for Facebook is, “if I can’t pick you out of a line-up, I don’t friend you”. Right now I’m at 111 friends on FB and I’m thinking of re-vamping that to “if I’m not willing to bail you out of jail”…

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