The Power of Human Connection

Community at Blogworld

Social media has redefined the Power of Human Connection.
For those of you who live a perfectly normal life, unaffected by the deafening thunderstorm that is social media, I would describe it as a way to connect instantly with people of similar likes and interests (or complete opposites of the spectrum, you choose) anywhere in the world through online systems and applications.

That means carrying on conversations with a new friend in Egypt while answering a question to a peep in Paris and figuring out the best route to Tokyo from Narita Airport with your new best buddy in Japan. It means knowing how a marathon for a friend turned out in San Francisco and watching the streams of feedback coming out of a keynote speech live in Las Vegas in case you are missing it. It means being there to sympathize with a tragedy, to show support when needed, to pull someone through a problem and to help someone with a dilemma.

It is powerful beyond measure and it can change your life. Develop, grow and engage with your network (affiliate).

So yeah, I *LOVE* social media. It exemplifies the power of human connection.

I have build friendships that are as strong as any built in person – usually, stronger; I have cultivated relationships I would not give up for anything and I have met smart, intelligent, fascinating, creative, authentic, successful and beautiful people that I never knew could exist in my circle. I seriously thank the genius minds for the technology that brings the world closer to me every day.

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But this post is not about social media. It is about what happens when you finally meet some of your closest social media friends in person. It is when you meet a human being not before but after you have already established a relationship with them, learned about them, shared a part of your life with them, carried on a dozen conversations, shared laughs and chuckles, agreed and disagreed, and created a beautiful bond that exists only in the virtual space.

The meeting of such people in real life makes for an encounter like no other. It adds a dimension that takes your online relationships to a new level.

To me, meeting people in person is forever the truest and strongest bond; the face-to-face cannot be replaced by social media but lucky for us, it is strengthened, enhanced and made entirely possible through social media. If it were not for Twitter or Facebook or dozens of blogs and other platforms, I would not be privy to these relationships.

Many of us live and thrive in this virtual world. We love it. We bask in it. We depend on it and feel terribly attached to it. It is a wonderful thing really. But if there is ever an opportunity to take time and meet anyone in your online community in person, take the chance. Go for it. Do not hesitate! I have done it in Singapore when I met Celestine Chua, in Berlin where I met unique Mars Dorian, in Boston I met Raam Dev and at Blogworld 2010 in October where I met some fabulous people from all over the world and now I come home from Blogworld in New York where I was lucky enough to do it all over again.

That is why I love gatherings such as Blogworld and soon coming up in Portland, the World Domination Summit (if you’ll be there, I wanna know!).

Here are some of my favorite people – some I met for the first time, some for second or third – my new family, my darling friends and Tweeps, and a part of  my vibrant community. Plus my brief commentary on what I remember most and best about them.
PS: If you did not make it to Blogworld East, you were sorely missed. You know who you are!

The list is in alphabetical order, people, not in most to least favorite order or any silly thing like that! I adore all of you!

Adrienne Jurado of Experience Life Fully
Adventure lover. Air Force graduate. Exploring and trying new things. Extremely friendly.

Aileen Mahoney of Kaizen Vision
Ballet dancer. Beautiful singing voice. Funny beyond words. True friend. Super encourager. Holder of top women’s skin beauty secrets.

Ainslie Hunter of Courses that Matter
Australian. Kind and generous. Great company. Teacher with creative teaching techniques.

Allison Boyer of After Graduation
Spunky. Fun. Sweet. Kind and encouraging. Gorgeous hair. Community lover. Great company.

Angela Artemis of Powered by Intuition
Most intuitive woman. Very selective about photographs! Kind beyond words. True friend. Book author in the making.

Bernardo Mendez of Your Great Life TV
Extremely welcoming. Truly delightful company. Caring. Generous. Great videos.

Cliff Ravenscraft of Podcast Answer Man
Podcast God. Sincere beyond words. Generous and giving. Extremely successful role model. Beautiful back story.

Dave Ursillo of
Future model for GQ and Vogue. Genuine. Philosopher. Great writer. Funny. True friend. Great bodyguard!

Darius Grant of Inspiring Greatness
Tall. Quiet. Sincere. Asks great questions. Aspiring leader and role model. Great listener.

Erika Napoletano of Red Head Writing
Fabulous writer with a unique writing voice. Shockingly honest and refreshing. Strong yet feminine. Takes a stance on issues.

Lara Kulpa of
Funny. Makes beautiful jewelry. Community manager for Problogger. Speaks her mind. Fun company.

Marcus Sheridan of The Sales Lion
Extremely sincere. Good natured. Aspiring to learn and ask deep questions. Super supportive. Into swimming pools.

Marlee Ward of Metamorphself
Super fun and smart. Great conversationalist. Sincere and open. Great observer. Asks good questions. Left law to pursue entrepreneurship.

Ric Dragon of Dragon Search
Friendly. Great memory. Well-connected. Great adviser and supporter. Knows his stuff. Is everywhere.

Scott Ginsberg of Name Tag Scott
Fabulous speaker. A writer through and through. Hilarious. Hard-worker. No-nonsense. Book author several times.

Srinivas Rao of Skool of Life
A surfer before anything else. Huge supporter. Great presence. Tall. Strong voice. Well-connected. Super interviewer. Aspiring book author.

Taryn Pisaneschi of
Creative speaker. Excellent presence. Beautiful smile. Stylish. Knows her stuff. Great networker. Smart and sassy.

Thursday Bram of Thursday
Sweet. Full of great ideas. Super multi-tasker. Fun company. Sincere. Genuine.

Tia Peterson of Biz Chick Blogs
Creative. Authentic and original. Starter of things. Productive on many fronts. Honest. Professional. Fun.

Wendy Del Monte of Finding Family Fitness
Kind. Sincere. Ambitious and accomplished. Family first. Great Mom. Good voice for families fitness is concerned.

Blogworld is over. We are all back home with new ideas to pursue, new ways to improve and give to the world and to our community, and with the sweet aftertaste of friendships that have now enhanced and strengthened through the power of human touch and in-person connection.

So how do you rank the impact of meeting face-to-face? Is it enough to go through life never meeting some of the most amazing people in our virtual life? Or is it imperative to find at least one occasion to have that personal encounter, circumstances permitting and all?

  • Sandi Amorim

    This will not come as a surprise I’m sure Farnoosh – I love and agree with this post! I have made such amazing connections in the past year and am really looking forward to meeting many of them in Portland at WDS.

    It’s hard to explain isn’t it? How is it possible to connect with any kind of depth on the Internet? I don’t have the answer, I just appreciate the results I’ve experienced :)

    • Farnoosh

      You could’ve written this piece and done a much better job too. I am so very much looking to Portland. I have a feeling I might fall in love with the city and it helps not to have the tension of having to speak, much as I loved it. It is impossible to explain, Sandi, and that’s probably why no one can understand unless they are doing it too. Thanks for showing up!

  • Benny

    Great looking pictures! I haven’t had the chance to meet anyone I’ve spoken with online. I’ve only been blogging for three months but do hope in the future to go to an event like this or WDS and meet awesome people like yourself.

    • Farnoosh

      Hi dear Benny, I sincerely hope that you get to meet some of those friends. Sometimes, it may just be a chance meeting or a bit of motivation to find out who is going to be where…. You won’t regret it. Welcome to the blogging world. It’s an exciting journey and thanks so much for your comment.

  • Adrienne

    Dear Farnoosh,

    It was fabulous finally meeting you in New York, and I couldn’t agree more with what you’ve shared here! I can remember many years ago when I thought facebook was silly, and now it’s how I keep up with my friends from school and college, my Air Force friends who are now scattered all over the world, my family back home in PA, and my husband’s family in Colombia. I can’t imagine my life without it, because it allows me to continuing sharing memories with people I might otherwise lose touch with.

    As for Twitter, it’s opened up a whole new world for me. As you’ve said, it’s a way to share ideas and connect with people all over the world. Moreover, it’s a way to really find “your people” out there in the world…those people who share your interests, beliefs, and passions.

    For me, meeting virtual friends face-to-face for the first time is a bit intimidating. I wonder if we’ll hit it off in person as well as we have online. However, I’ve found that the more I do it, the less scary it gets, because it’s been absolutely incredible every time! So in answer to your questions…even though it can be a bit nerve-racking, it’s so important for me to meet people face-to-face. That’s where the true magic happens and where relationships can really transform and deepen. Now that I’ll have the freedom to travel more, I’m definitely going to make it a priority to not only visit old friends more, but to finally meet the virtual ones as well! I’m so sad that I won’t be at WDS…I know you’re going to have an amazing experience, and I can’t wait to hear all about it!

    • Farnoosh

      Adrienne, it really was lovely to meet you. I was so so glad you made it to Blogworld and that you now know what I mean by meeting the people we make such amazing friends with in our online communities. As long as we decide how to use the social media tools, I think there is tremendous power to them and they create huge opportunity for us.
      You recently met Raam and Jeanie at the shuttle launch in Florida, I believe. I hope your experience with them even further validates the power of the human connection that I talk about here! I know you had a blast….!
      I am going to miss you at WDS but do keep the option open to meet your online family as you travel – and of course, we shall be in touch. Take good care and thanks so much for sharing your thoughts.

  • Bernardo

    Dearest Farnoosh,

    Love your post today!

    It’s so funny, I just finished recording a video about the power of going from 0 to family in a short period of time and what you write in here carries the same energy and essence. I am amazed at the power of social media tools (when used consciously) to plant the seed for amazing friendships. I also agree with you that nothing replaces face to face human contact. It was SO AWESOME meeting you in person and getting a chance to see your passionate presentation at Blogworld.

    I always knew that you had a passion for giving but seeing you in person solidified it tremendously. I want to thank you for your great energy and for your wonderful support through your blog, your comments and your insightful ideas. I am so grateful to know you and feel very happy to have a chance to call you my friend.
    Lots of love to you,

    • Farnoosh

      Bernardo, it was great fun meeting in New York!
      I have been watching more and more of your videos. You are so sincere and come across so fully present and willing to help your audience. I love it! Social media is pure magic when used right.
      Thank you so much for coming to my session at Blogworld! I am blushing from your words here and I know that this was the start of a great friendship for us. I am returning all the sentiments ten fold. Lovely of you to leave a comment here. Thanks!!!

  • J.D. Meier

    I really like the way you lit up the highlights of each individual’s unique capabilities and strengths.

    You have the power of precision and persuasion.

    • Farnoosh

      Dear J.D., thank you for your comment. Where were you? We missed you at Blogworld. “power of precision and persuasion” – some of my favorite P words in one phrase. Now who is the talented one with the pen? :)

  • John Sherry

    The blogosphere is one mega planet of fine folk isn’t it Farnoosh? Behind every blog or post or concept niche is a human being, a person with feelings and emotions but also a wealth of life experience and stories to touch and aid others. What’s great is that with blogging these get shared and honestly offered and all our lives are stronger as a result. To get to meet some of these faces and connect in person with these bloggeruppers who are lifting the positivity of life must have been marvellous so thank you for letting us share a small piece of wonderful bloggers blending. Hope it will live with you for some time.

    • Farnoosh

      Hi dear John, how I wish you had made it to Blogworld.
      Our blogosphere is indeed what you say. I love those human beings behind the blog posts and after meeting just a face, it has become a pursuit to meet as many as possible. It really was marvelous and I can only hope to meet you someday. “bloggeruppers” < I learn something new every day even if one of my blogger friends just coined the phrase! Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts.

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  • Lara Kulpa

    Farnoosh, my dear! I simply adore you, I hope you know that! Was so great to hang out and spend time talking with you at BWENY!

    Thank you for featuring me in your list, too… you’re way sweet. (But could you take the “U” out of my name? hehehe No biggie, happens ALL the time, believe me!)

    • Farnoosh

      Dear Lara, thank you *so much* for sitting in my session and for the encouraging nods and smiles. I am so happy to have met you. You are so sweet and kind and here’s not hoping but planning on the next meeting – perhaps we can spend more time together at next gathering. Thanks for stopping by here.

  • Dave Ursillo

    I agree that the human connection is really what it’s all about. Dissenters will say that social media, and technology as a whole, is having an “isolating” effect and contributing to many problems that indeed stem from the erosion of local communities and our sense of connectedness and oneness.

    On the flip side, we can attest to the use of social media as a great facilitator of human connections and creating an indisputably uniting sensation that we are all so similar and in this game of life together, not separated from or in spite of one another.

    So, let’s keep on using it for good and inspire others to do the same!

    Thanks again Farnoosh for running around and finding me amid my confused and lost state when I arrived at BWE :)

    • Farnoosh

      Dear Dave, even though you were supposed to be my “bodyguard”, I was thrilled to be the first person to greet you. It was such a pleasure and such fun to meet you. To think that I would not have these friendships and relationships if social media was another 50 years out, oh it just terrifies me. We are ever so lucky!! You wrote “an indisputably uniting sensation” – beautiful way to describe what brought us and many others together. Thank you for your friendship, your thoughts on leadership and your amazing writing voice. Keep it up and see you in Portland tomorrow!

  • Aileen | Kaizen Vision

    The power of the human connection is truly amazing! I am so blessed to have had the opportunity to know you and to have our friendship.

    I love your descriptions of the people above!

    Your advice to take the opportunity to meet one’s online community at events is brilliant. I’m happy to see you encoring others to do so – it really offers a unique life experience that we wouldn’t find at home or just online. It brings life to the adventure.

    • Farnoosh

      Hi dear Aileen, you are a gem to me and you know it. I thank Andy everyday for pushing me to come to Blogworld in October!
      I think meeting even once in person can create a different bond altogether. Here’s to many new friendships and relationships for us both!! Thank you for stopping here.

  • Henway

    I actually have very little faith in friendships. I think most friendships can be described as acquaintances, at least for me. Everyone I initiate a friendship, and start treating the other person well, he/she eventually forgets about me. I think ppl are just concerned about their own well-being and salvation.

    • Farnoosh

      Hi Henway, I am so sorry you feel that way. You know, I have had friendships go sour and people betray and leave me for many reasons so trust me, it happens and it may even happen a lot but it is not reason enough to turn me sour or jaded on humanity as a whole. It is not always that way and when you do find the right people with the right motives, you will hopefully not regret investing in those relationships. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and I hope you prove yourself wrong in life to enjoy the bliss of true friendships.

  • Marlee

    Hi Farnoosh!
    I share in your sentiments exactly. It’s incredible how powerful social media can be. Imagine the collective power in using it for good?! It was an absolute pleasure meeting you in-person. Your enthusiasm and passion for your work is contagious and inspiring. I could think of a better person to represent that of prolific living. Thanks for the mention here. I look forward to your report from WDS. Have ANOTHER incredible experience! :)

    • Farnoosh

      Hi Marlee, so so happy to see you here on my blog, but not as happy as when I was basking in your charming company. Thank you for boosting my ego ;)! You are kind and sweet and I am going to live up to the name, to that I am committed. Thank you and I will do a report out on WDS soon!!

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  • Evita

    Looks like you had an awesome time Farnoosh!!!!

    I remember the first time I got a chance to meet some of the people I developed a friendship with online – it was so surreal and so neat to go beyond the technological interface and get a true human to human connection. So yeah it is wonderful to connect online and even better to make that in person connection.

    • Farnoosh

      Evita, it was wonderful, yes! The idea of meeting old friends that you already know but haven’t seen face to face … surreal is the right word for it. Thanks so much for stopping by and I’ll look for you at the next gathering!

  • Angela Artemis

    How did I miss this beautiful post? (I have been forcing myself to stay focused on editing by staying offline.)

    It was sooo wonderful to meet in person, finally!

    Living our lives online as we bloggers do, we do miss out on the personal connection. We all intuitively know however, when we “like” someone and want to be friends with them, even if we haven’t met them; and you are one of those people! Your vibes come through loud and clear, whether you are in the company of others, or speaking through emails and articles. You have such warm and caring vibes, both on the “page” and in person, which is what makes you the magnetic “people-person” that you are!

    I absolutely adored your speech. You were thoroughly prepared, rehearsed, professional and did a magnificent job! I had a great insight while you were speaking too – I realized that, yes, I am truly motivated and excited by what I am doing online and, that I am motivated for the right reasons. I thank you for that!

    Keep on being you and you will inspire legions!

    • Farnoosh

      Angela, you didn’t miss anything, dear friend, and you are here just on time!!
      Loved, loved meeting you in person. You are beautiful and sweet!
      And what can I say, I love that description of me – I am blushing but love it. I am so happy I lived up to your expectations. To be honest, I have not even once felt a bit nervous meeting friends online in person. It feels natural and wonderful.
      Oh thank you for saying that about the speech. I loved having you on the front row and the way you went up there to ask a question! Thanks so much for your support. And you being that motivated (already) and realizing it at that moment, greatest gift in return for me.

  • Andrew Walker

    Hi Farnoosh,
    I belive that everyone in this world connects each other, with or without the social media. Some say that strangers are waiting to be friends.
    Have a nice day :)

    • Farnoosh

      Hello again dear Andrew, I *love* that phrase – did you make it up? Strangers waiting to be friends? Thank you for sharing and talk soon.

  • Suzi Banks Baum

    What a wonderful digestion of BlogWorld, Farnoosh. I was only there on Tuesday, it was my first ever experience and I loved every single minute. I got to hear inspiring speakers and meet so many great people. I love your photos and hope to connect more at the next conference. Until then, I know I can stop in here for inspiration! My favorites from Tuesday were Jodi Beck, Lori Randall Stradtman, Tamsen McMahon, Srinvas Rao and Michael Margolis. I just learned so much and loved the enthusiasm of the day. Next time, I want to be there when you speak!

    • Farnoosh

      Hi dear Suzie, I am sorry we didn’t meet. Yes, as your first experience, even for one day, it can be full of great inspiration and information. So glad you got to experience it and my goodness, you went to a lot of sessions. Keep the enthusiasm going. Very excited for you and thank you so much – I will keep you posted on the next speaking engagement once the plans firm up, fingers crossed. All the best.

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