capeann2In our social media frenzy world it is easy to become marginalized from the group(s) we seek to engage with. As humans we require social contact, confirmation, friendship, connection. In this decade we wear our innermost thoughts and hopes on our electronic sleeves. We lament: Does any one notice? Why doesn’t anyone care (as much) any more?

Ah, but there is a fine line between whining and striving. There’s also a fine line between engaging and over-exposing. But no matter which margin we test (and we all do from time to time) we need the emotional validation of peers and new friendships.

My theme: it’s not the number of people in the collection. It’s the quality of those you admit and continually nurture around you.  Long wind up to a short story:

We took an impromptu weekend in the Cape Ann area of Massachusetts after finding an intriguing Airbnb listing.

Upon arrival, we all immediately clicked, in a strong and collegial way: from her warm welcome, leading to similar interests and politics, complementary tastes, to creating the whole package over less than 24 hours.

The host lived alone and was, as she later described, independent in a positive way, and open to new guests, but on her own limited and selective scale. We made the cut and I credit my wife for composing  and sending the intro profile that helped us become accepted for our stay.

As we conversed, it was apparent the host truly enjoyed contact with an influx of new people, but with those she agreed to let into her home, in her self-described most generous and warmly emotional way (so many stories demonstrated her kindnesses to past and future guests).

Heck, even the Rottweiler (a mere teddy bear in very BIG dog clothes!) sought the power of connectivity: I stroked and massaged her ears and head, while the dog leaned her 150 pounds of hindquarters into my wife’s leg for the added human connection. It is said a dog reflects its owner’s home and personality.  Indeed!

We crave acceptance and ties to others. As much as social media seems to whittle that away, Airbnb as one social medium, works that human contact back into the mix for our host and for us as her guests.

We spent many hours in conversation, compared pastimes, reviewed the state of the world, parted friends, traded contact details, Facebook ties and LinkedIn profiles. We already are planning to return and see her area; again as the host, but this time she volunteered to serve as our enthusiastic guide to the horse farms, polo grounds and organic farms in the area. She has much to share. That’s rich.

In sum, from strong human interaction comes future added friendship and the emotion richness of interpersonal connections, all around a smart use of one social medium…Note the word “social.”

Do you use LinkedIn or another social medium to demonstrate your emotional and business values?

Marc W. Halpert

LinkedIn personal coach, group trainer, marketing strategist and overall evangelist, having a great time pursuing my passion of connecting professionals so they can collaborate better!

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