Sunday, July 13, 2008

Interacting with individuals.

There’s been a bit of ongoing fuss about online identities for a while now. The general rule is to just be yourself and treat others as you want to be treated. Simple.

Online does has the power to create a world that is unknown to others though. For some this is a key benefit. They can hide. Or they can promote, market, sell or indeed find a way to express their creativity. Their inner self. I probably like to think I’m in the latter crowd (expressing my inner self) but that’s probably my own fantasy. I’m very much what you see, what you get – online and off. Sorry, but that’s a fact!!

However, i do have empathy and respect for those who try to develop an online brand and persona. Some people are making a stack of money out of it. That said, you really can’t cover a personality. Online (maybe even off). It shines through. From the way we respond to when we respond, to what we say to how we say it. You really have to admit we are one person... whether we are covering ourselves with a cute image or full frontal face picture on white background, it’s our actions that speak more volumes about our personalities and reveals our inner being. We have our own ups and downs. We have our own highs and lows. And we all have good days. And we have our bad.

So, where am I going with this? Well, to be honest it makes me more trusting of the people I be-friend online. I gave myself an interesting challenge to limit my FaceBook friends to under 400. Just when the FaceBook world all wanted over 1000 or more in order to do “whatever” I made a stance that I wouldn’t. I would weed out and move on friends that I hadn’t connected with. It was a choice that I’m glad I made. I have moved through that cycle and the people I now connect with are more valuable and more enjoyable. We have far more similar interests as I took the time to know them better and they in turn have referred better connections for me.

But – they all do come with their own individual personalities and traits that I’m enjoying getting to know. And they can’t hide them. I love that. So, thanks to all the individuals out there doing their stuff. It has made me appreciate all the individuals in my offline world. And I love it when offline overlaps with on. I asked one who has just crossed to “describe yourself in six words”. The response came as "extroverted mad energy work-o-holic party soccer". I thought “yep”.

How would you describe yourself. Do I know you? Let's interact.


JimBob said...

Well my girl as you say what you see is what you get. That has to be the most in depth look at Charlie we have ever seen.

Beautifully written and describes what will win the day everytime - pure unadulterated honesty. If we all take just part of that our world will be a better place.

Thank you.

Michael Gallagher said...

Describe myself in six words?

Willing, cautious, analytical, accepting, unmoving and confident.

Hmm, what do you think? Does that sound like me?

Good post, Charlie. I like you Facebook strategy.

Michael Gallagher

Charlie Robinson said...

@jimbob we will reach that better place. i know. xc

@mgallagher i wouldn't have said unmoving because i know you to be far more flexible. but that's my take on it. the rest seem 100%.

Richard Pascoe said...

Are we ever truly ourselves or are we the products of our surrounds , pressures and demands of the situation at the time.Ever changing , ever fluid adapting to surrounds.

Charlie Robinson said...

ahh Richard, so true. i think we watch, learn and then adapt as we go. i'm certainly not the same person i was when 18, 26, 32 or even 42 and 6 months because of everything that has recently happened!!! but there is still a foundation for where you centre yourself. where you feel most "at home" so to speak? yes??

just a thought. thanks for yours!! xc said...

Great insight shared here Charlie. Taking time to connect is important and it should be balance. In the last Adelaide meet-up, we discussed this in our corner - balancing the amount of content we post versus those that we read and also respond to (ideally should be more).

On Facebook connections, I guess it depends on the situation. I definitely don't like to add a person who doesn't reveal his/her true name in their profile and doesn't reply to a message when I ask about it.

However, I will go out of my way and reach out, invite connections, people met during meet-ups, those who join my group and pages, in order to get to know them more and hopefully build a higher quality of connection.

The effort of reaching out is definitely worth it. In LinkedIn, I initially invited my newsletter subscribers (more than 2k) and felt great knowing them more. This also provides the challenge of being constantly relevant to the people you interact with.

Fiona Lucas said...

I agree about being yourself and were the first (and to be honest.. still the only) person I added to my facebook that I didn't really personally know.. because I like what you say, how you say it and your enthusiasm. I'm still a little cautious on the net - but your facebook and blogs let me see there is so much more out there - I've got to get into it!