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.
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 DaveUrsillo.com
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 LaraKulpa.com
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.
Taryn Pisaneschi of TayrnP.com
Creative speaker. Excellent presence. Beautiful smile. Stylish. Knows her stuff. Great networker. Smart and sassy.
Thursday Bram of Thursday Bram.com
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?