Connecting to People


Technology can enable us in many many ways, and perhaps recently, has truly expanded the number of was we can (re)connect with people in our lives. Whether it be through YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Myspace, Friends Reunited, LinkedIn or other services, there’s a good chance we’ll find and be able to reconnect with people once prominent in our lives.

However we cannot rely on technology alone, for it can only go so far – when we want to deepen the relationship or move beyond superficial discussions, we can really only do that when we meet physically.

When I first started on Twitter, the first few people I followed were from Melbourne. These contacts helped me understand Twitter and showed me (through their tweets) how it worked for them. They also expanded my list of contacts by recommending me to others as well as recommending others to me. I now have at least 50 ‘new’ friends in Melbourne through Twitter that I regularly interact with (some of these people have  branched out into Facebook and LinkedIn as well).

When I was planning the Snowyride trip (Here’s the awesomely detailed ride report on my personal blog), I decided to extend my trip to Melbourne (as I was already part-way to Melbourne) to meet some of these people face to face. No other reason except to make a more personal connection with people I’d come to know through Twitter. So far, I’ve met about 10 people, and through a couple of planned tweetups over the next few days this number will increase!

Melbourne from Williamstown
Melbourne from Williamstown

Something I ask of you (this won’t be too taxing, I promise) – Take a look at how & why you’re using technology, and see what opportunities it has given you to be able to (re)connect with others. Where you can, be proactive to explore opportunities to meet these people face to face. I know I can become a better person from the experiences, conversations, chats and insights gained from meeting people on this trip, and perhaps you could too? Feel free to share this with other people, and share your thoughts with me by leaving a comment below!

P.S. I have now returned home and would like to try and capture the list if people I met whilst in Melbourne. If I miss you off this list PLEASE let me know!

If you’d like to follow my Melb posse (above), use my twitter list: My Melb Friends!

PPS. My friend Robin Dickinson just posted Seven easily missed truths about human relationships, about the differences between connections and relationships. After reading his post, it resonated with me clearly why I made this trip to Melbourne – it was to turn those ‘connections’ into real relationships (and I especially like number 7: Relationships are gifts that grow with shared participation, connections aren’t.