4 Ways Social Media Is Changing Your Relationships

social media viewpointsOne main facet of social media is its emphasis on creating and maintaining relationships.

All the content you create, all the following you build, each of these is designed to create and foster more intimate relationships with people, in some cases, people you might not have met any other way.

What’s interesting is social media is changing the foundation of the ways we relate.  This article will examine how social media is changing our interpersonal psychology and what you can do about it.

Why Should You Care?

This has important implications for business because business, after all, is comprised of interpersonal relationships.

If you’re connecting with your clients and customers through social media, you want to be aware of how various changes in our interpersonal psychology might directly impact your client relationships.

On another level, too, it’s important to be aware of how your social media participation may be impacting you, as this will have implications for the decisions you make and the choices you adopt for your business.

Social media is changing our relationship styles in several important ways. First, it’s allowing us to connect with more people more rapidly. Second, it’s easy to overestimate the level of intimacy of our online relationships.

Third, it makes us more susceptible to a sort of social media contagion effect, which means you may possibly start adopting behaviors, attitudes, and beliefs from those within our social network. Fourth, social media facilitates comparing ourselves with others, which may have positive or negative effects.

Let’s dig a bit deeper into each of these…

#1: Allows You to Connect with More People

As we look at the first trend, we note that social media enables us to connect with many more people, from all walks of life, than we might normally meet in a normal work-week.

We can connect with the CEO of a Fortune 500 company on LinkedIn.  We can meet others who enjoy our love of punk music or we can share recipes for Thursday night’s dinner with people we’ve never met before.

The business case for developing such a broad social network is found in the work of Pierre Bourdieu, a French sociologist, who studied how people have historically gained social currency (he called it social capital).  One way they did this was by having large networks that were loosely organized and not particularly intimate. This finding has been supported in many industries, which demonstrates that those who attain top leadership positions tend to have broad social networks.

With this increase in number of connections and frequency of contact, you’ll also see that you have access to many more ideas and resources than ever before. You can crowdsource the best information to solve our particular business issues. Research shows that, generally speaking, more opinions create a better result.

Given the informal nature of social media, it’s easy to approach someone you’d like to meet, and this can be done more easily and fluidly. It’s easier to extend your sphere of influence and enlarge it to include people you’d like to meet, or would like to know better. This means that influence will beget more influence.

#2: Makes it Easy to Overestimate Levels of Intimacy

While these aspects are positive and useful to us in our businesses, we also need to be aware of the downsides of social media, at least as far as our social relationships go.

One big mistake is that it’s easy to confuse digital intimacy for true intimacy.

We can become so seduced by the ease of connecting with others online that we begin to think that these relationships are more intense, more committed and more complete than they really are. We run the risk of alienating the people who populate our daily lives in pursuit of intimacy with our online friends. We each have only so much intimacy to go around, and we need to make sure we’re investing it for our own maximal benefit.

In business, this means you need to make certain that you’re investing in the right balance of online and offline relationships for your personal and professional success.

#3: You’re More Susceptible to the Social Media Contagion Effect

Another downside of social media relationships is that we’re potentially subject to emotional contagion effects, as illustrated in research by John Cacioppo, a researcher at the University of Chicago. His studies show that loneliness is transmitted via social networks.

Cacioppo’s findings suggest that if a direct connection of yours is lonely, you are 52% more likely to be lonely. If the connection is a friend of a friend, 25% more lonely. If the connection is 3 degrees out (a friend of a friend of a friend), it’s 15%.

While this research looked at offline social networks, it may have some implications for online social networking as well.

If someone in your online social network is angry, lonely, or hostile, and takes it out on you, you’re more likely to ‘transmit’ this mood yourself. This means that even though you may never have met this person or interacted with them in real life, their “bad behavior” can still influence yours.

As you become increasingly networked and involved with each other, it’s going to be more crucial to monitor your own influences and reactions.  We might be more prone to social media moodiness, depending on whom we’re spending time with and paying attention to within our social networks.

You’ve probably also seen that sometimes normal courtesy and politeness—aspects we would utilize in our face-to-face interactions—are sometimes reduced (or missing altogether) in the online space. I’ve personally noted people interacting in mean and critical ways that, I imagine, they would find more difficult to do in real life. This is a problem, because any kind of negativity and bad manners has the possibility to multiply a thousandfold.

As a business owner, this is important for several reasons.

First, if you’re rude or critical, this can negatively damage your brand and how people view you. This may determine who chooses to work with you and how your business is perceived, which can impact your profitability.

Second, given that even ‘private’ online conversations are not really private, something you say off the cuff can have lasting negative impact, in even unintended ways. What started out as a thoughtless remark can spread quickly to your detriment.

#4: Comparing Yourself with Others

Another downside of our social media relationships can be that our successes feel diminished and our failures amplified.

With the inrush of so much information about how other people are living their lives, or conducting their businesses, it’s easy to feel that we can’t compete. We might also feel some pressure to demonstrate a certain persona, as we know that people are always watching us. It can feel like we’ve traded a real-life rat race for an online one.

How to Benefit from Social Media

So given these factors, what strategies can you use to make sure you’re benefiting from your social media relationships instead of being dragged down?

  1. Limit the time you spend on social networks. If you’re using social media primarily for business, make sure you’re getting a return on your time investment. I, for instance, have set times in the day to update my status and take part in the conversation. Then I close the browser and do other things. While it’s sometimes tempting to keep checking my online accounts, I know that if I do this too often, other parts of my business will suffer.
  2. Monitor your own emotions and reactions. If you find yourself getting really aggravated, angry or distressed, and you don’t know why, back away from the computer. Go for a walk, or connect with someone in your offline life. This can help give you a perspective on your emotions and reactions.
  3. Take care not to compare yourself too often to others. As the saying goes, ‘There will always be people greater than you, and people lesser than you.’ It’s all too easy to get caught up in vicarious experiencing of other people’s lives at the expense of experiencing your own.
  4. Set goals or guidelines for your business relationships. Have a clear strategy or plan for why you’re cultivating various people in your networks. Remember that more can be good, but too much rarely is.
  5. Maintain a balance between your online and offline life. We need to connect with people face to face, not just by email, phone, or social sites. Cultivate a real-life network of contacts as well.

How has social media impacted you?  Let me know your thoughts and ideas in the box below.

Image sourced from:

http://customersrock.net/2008/09/21/using-social-media-for-customer-loyalty-part-1/

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About the Author, Dr. Rachna Jain

Dr. Rachna Jain is a psychologist by training and a social marketer by preference. She writes about the interconnections of neuroscience, psychology and social media. Other posts by »




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  • http://www.johnpaulaguiar.com/ John Paul

    I used to have to compete with other guys, now you have to compete with here cell to get her attention lol.

  • http://www.johnpaulaguiar.com/ John Paul

    I used to have to compete with other guys, now you have to compete with here cell to get her attention lol.

  • http://www.setsights.co.uk David Lurie

    “Take care not to compare yourself too often to others. As the saying goes, ‘There will always be people greater than you, and people lesser than you.’ It’s all too easy to get caught up in vicarious experiencing of other people’s lives at the expense of experiencing your own.”

    – a point I regularly make to coachees, that there is nothing more destructive to yourself than this, and it’s relevant not just online

  • http://www.setsights.co.uk David Lurie

    “Take care not to compare yourself too often to others. As the saying goes, ‘There will always be people greater than you, and people lesser than you.’ It’s all too easy to get caught up in vicarious experiencing of other people’s lives at the expense of experiencing your own.”

    – a point I regularly make to coachees, that there is nothing more destructive to yourself than this, and it’s relevant not just online

  • http://twitter.com/HillaryHopper Hillary Hopper

    I have made some valuable connections via social media and wouldn’t change those relationships/friendships for anything.

    Competing is a silly way to go about becoming “Popular” on social media. The best way I find is to just be yourself, and people will be naturally drawn to who you are. It’s better anyways, to have followers that enjoy you than people that are following you just because you’re well known. It’s not the amount of people that are following you, but the quality of those people.

    It’s important to care about online relationships, but I too, have to remind myself to go out to coffee with my friends close by too. :)

  • http://twitter.com/HillaryHopper Hillary Hopper

    I have made some valuable connections via social media and wouldn’t change those relationships/friendships for anything.

    Competing is a silly way to go about becoming “Popular” on social media. The best way I find is to just be yourself, and people will be naturally drawn to who you are. It’s better anyways, to have followers that enjoy you than people that are following you just because you’re well known. It’s not the amount of people that are following you, but the quality of those people.

    It’s important to care about online relationships, but I too, have to remind myself to go out to coffee with my friends close by too. :)

  • davidholzmer

    What a great posting–thanks so much!!

    There’s so much you touch on here that has merit and I was particularly happy to see you mention the issue of Social Capital which, I think hasn’t been getting the attention it needs given its role in the explosive growth of social networking. I’m not nearly as familiar with Pierre Bourdieu as I am Robert Putnam (whose model of social capital–unfortunately–often tends to reinforce marginalizing trends/norms rather than transcend them).

    Barbara Arneil has a great book called “Diverse Communities” in which she advocates for a much more open/inclusive approach to Social Capital. Given the “leveling” effect of social media, I’d be interested in exploring how Arneil’s perspective can inform our own practices as we move ahead. I think the potential is immense!

    In addition this piece recalls some points I recently made in a posting I did on my own blog ( http://ow.ly/25goz ) that speaks to the potential of these technologies to positively redefine our own sense of personhood and community. I’d be interested to hear what you think of this as well!

    Again, thanks for illuminating a very important discussion!

    David

  • davidholzmer

    What a great posting–thanks so much!!

    There’s so much you touch on here that has merit and I was particularly happy to see you mention the issue of Social Capital which, I think hasn’t been getting the attention it needs given its role in the explosive growth of social networking. I’m not nearly as familiar with Pierre Bourdieu as I am Robert Putnam (whose model of social capital–unfortunately–often tends to reinforce marginalizing trends/norms rather than transcend them).

    Barbara Arneil has a great book called “Diverse Communities” in which she advocates for a much more open/inclusive approach to Social Capital. Given the “leveling” effect of social media, I’d be interested in exploring how Arneil’s perspective can inform our own practices as we move ahead. I think the potential is immense!

    In addition this piece recalls some points I recently made in a posting I did on my own blog ( http://ow.ly/25goz ) that speaks to the potential of these technologies to positively redefine our own sense of personhood and community. I’d be interested to hear what you think of this as well!

    Again, thanks for illuminating a very important discussion!

    David

  • http://womeninbusinessradio.com Michele Price

    Awesome post.

    Yes, we are human and want to keep an eye out for how we either empower ourselves or do ourselves a injustice.

    Thanks for mentioning Social Capital as speaking about that locally has given new insights to business owners to expand their networks.

    We always have the opportunity to ask better questions:

    How am I using my time in social media to be of service as well as build my network?
    Who have I validated today and give them recognition?
    Am I focused on giving from my heart or giving from my pocket book? (believe it or not people feel this one)
    What can I do today that will get me one step closer to my own goals? (taking action for yourself is sign positive self confidence)
    Who can I surround myself and my clients with today that will empower us all together?
    Is there an opportunity to collaborate and effect growth for many?

    Thanks for bringing up the competition internally we as humans can have that is not beneficial. Always great to ask ourselves have I done and how can I see it from a different perspective to benefit the community.

  • http://womeninbusinessradio.com Michele Price

    Awesome post.

    Yes, we are human and want to keep an eye out for how we either empower ourselves or do ourselves a injustice.

    Thanks for mentioning Social Capital as speaking about that locally has given new insights to business owners to expand their networks.

    We always have the opportunity to ask better questions:

    How am I using my time in social media to be of service as well as build my network?
    Who have I validated today and give them recognition?
    Am I focused on giving from my heart or giving from my pocket book? (believe it or not people feel this one)
    What can I do today that will get me one step closer to my own goals? (taking action for yourself is sign positive self confidence)
    Who can I surround myself and my clients with today that will empower us all together?
    Is there an opportunity to collaborate and effect growth for many?

    Thanks for bringing up the competition internally we as humans can have that is not beneficial. Always great to ask ourselves have I done and how can I see it from a different perspective to benefit the community.

  • Pam Morris

    Social media has put the relationship factor back in communications. With social media, you have to not only think about what your outgoing messages are how they will be interpreted by a diverse audience. You also need to have a response strategy, just in case things don’t go according to planned and be ready to respond immediately. Social media is instantaneous and delaying in response can kill even the best reputations.

  • Pam Morris

    Social media has put the relationship factor back in communications. With social media, you have to not only think about what your outgoing messages are how they will be interpreted by a diverse audience. You also need to have a response strategy, just in case things don’t go according to planned and be ready to respond immediately. Social media is instantaneous and delaying in response can kill even the best reputations.

  • prashmohan

    I’m loving this post. I especially agree with the “try not to compare yourself with others” point you’ve eloquently outlined. That’s a problem that I’ve faced, not only from a business standpoint, but moreso from a personal view. People, I think at least, are utilizing Facebook and other social media websites as a secondary identity, designed to say and do things that we wouldn’t normally do in reality. If we can learn to separate “virtual intimacy” from the real deal, then Facebook is a powerful, powerful tool.

  • prashmohan

    I’m loving this post. I especially agree with the “try not to compare yourself with others” point you’ve eloquently outlined. That’s a problem that I’ve faced, not only from a business standpoint, but moreso from a personal view. People, I think at least, are utilizing Facebook and other social media websites as a secondary identity, designed to say and do things that we wouldn’t normally do in reality. If we can learn to separate “virtual intimacy” from the real deal, then Facebook is a powerful, powerful tool.

  • http://twitter.com/Hope_Spark Susan

    Great post, you touched on some important things here. I am a firm beleiver in using new media for sharing uplifting posts and making POSITIVE impact on people, which is why I created Hope Spark, a Digg like site for positvei media. http://hopespark.com/

  • http://twitter.com/Hope_Spark Susan

    Great post, you touched on some important things here. I am a firm beleiver in using new media for sharing uplifting posts and making POSITIVE impact on people, which is why I created Hope Spark, a Digg like site for positvei media. http://hopespark.com/

  • http://mjschrader.com/ MJ Schrader

    Dr Rachna
    Your post is great and it is true that we are over extending ourselves sometimes thinking digital friends are true. Very true that we compare ourselves to their accomplishments.
    But Social media allowed me to reach out, my grandmother died 3 weeks ago. My parents left and suddenly I was handling my house and managing their farm. My best friend who swore to help me disappeared but the friends online stepped up. They sent hugs and love and worried and cared about me while my physical friends disappeared. But in that moment I knew my physical friends cared for what I could do for them. So we can over inflate our physical friendships as well.
    Social media allows people of similar tastes and interests to meet where in my small town this is not possible. Now I have a friend in the remote regions of Alaska. Thank you so very much.
    ~ MJ Schrader

  • http://mjschrader.com/ MJ Schrader

    Dr Rachna
    Your post is great and it is true that we are over extending ourselves sometimes thinking digital friends are true. Very true that we compare ourselves to their accomplishments.
    But Social media allowed me to reach out, my grandmother died 3 weeks ago. My parents left and suddenly I was handling my house and managing their farm. My best friend who swore to help me disappeared but the friends online stepped up. They sent hugs and love and worried and cared about me while my physical friends disappeared. But in that moment I knew my physical friends cared for what I could do for them. So we can over inflate our physical friendships as well.
    Social media allows people of similar tastes and interests to meet where in my small town this is not possible. Now I have a friend in the remote regions of Alaska. Thank you so very much.
    ~ MJ Schrader

  • http://dinodogan.com/ Dino Dogan

    Thanks for this post…it brings two of my fav topics together…Social Media and Psychology.

    The subtle effect Twitter and Facebook (as an example) has on our psyche, in my view, is as follows.

    A famed Psychologist, Abraham Maslow had devised something called the Hierarchy of Needs which has 5 levels plus a super-special secret 6th level :-)

    At Lever 1 we care about most basic instinct of survival and procreation. As species we’ve spend most of our time here. (100s of thousands of years)

    At Level 2 we are concerned with safety. As species, we’ve been at this level for only few hundred years (I mean that in a global sense). Your regular 9-5 job, your insurance policies, your savings, etc. are all expressions of the need for safety.

    At Level 3, (in other words, once our survival and safety needs are met) we care about Social Networks. Ever noticed how people who dont have to think about safety or survival start to spend their time creating circles? Think Freemasons, religious orgs, any manner of “guilds”, etc.

    From a global perspective, this is totally new for most people, but the reality is that thanks to Twitter and Facebook we are all enabled to create our own guilds, groups, circles, etc. (Social Media gurus call them niches but its all the same)

    On a global scale, Social Media has dragged all of us from Level 2 to Level 3 of the Maslow’s Hierarchy.

    For those interested in Level 4 an beyond, you can check out this link http://dogandogs.com/everything-you-know-about-dog-training-is-wro-6

    Great article as always Rachna,

    Hope you dont mind my 2c on the whole issue of Psychology and Social Media.

    @dino_dogan

  • http://dinodogan.com/ Dino Dogan

    Thanks for this post…it brings two of my fav topics together…Social Media and Psychology.

    The subtle effect Twitter and Facebook (as an example) has on our psyche, in my view, is as follows.

    A famed Psychologist, Abraham Maslow had devised something called the Hierarchy of Needs which has 5 levels plus a super-special secret 6th level :-)

    At Lever 1 we care about most basic instinct of survival and procreation. As species we’ve spend most of our time here. (100s of thousands of years)

    At Level 2 we are concerned with safety. As species, we’ve been at this level for only few hundred years (I mean that in a global sense). Your regular 9-5 job, your insurance policies, your savings, etc. are all expressions of the need for safety.

    At Level 3, (in other words, once our survival and safety needs are met) we care about Social Networks. Ever noticed how people who dont have to think about safety or survival start to spend their time creating circles? Think Freemasons, religious orgs, any manner of “guilds”, etc.

    From a global perspective, this is totally new for most people, but the reality is that thanks to Twitter and Facebook we are all enabled to create our own guilds, groups, circles, etc. (Social Media gurus call them niches but its all the same)

    On a global scale, Social Media has dragged all of us from Level 2 to Level 3 of the Maslow’s Hierarchy.

    For those interested in Level 4 an beyond, you can check out this link http://dogandogs.com/everything-you-know-about-dog-training-is-wro-6

    Great article as always Rachna,

    Hope you dont mind my 2c on the whole issue of Psychology and Social Media.

    @dino_dogan

  • http://dev.midlifeop.com Rob H

    Hi Rachna,

    Yes, some very good points made. I particularly agree with the online/offline balance – it’s very easy to rely on the computer!

    best wishes

    Rob

  • http://dev.midlifeop.com Rob H

    Hi Rachna,

    Yes, some very good points made. I particularly agree with the online/offline balance – it’s very easy to rely on the computer!

    best wishes

    Rob

  • bellevuedentist

    Wow, what an interesting story. It appears that you have recovered well which is the sign of a true winner!

  • bellevuedentist

    Wow, what an interesting story. It appears that you have recovered well which is the sign of a true winner!

  • Robert Gilmour

    No matter how many people tell me ‘social media will change my life, relationships &c &c–’ – I’m sorry – it isn’t, hasn ‘t and won’t. This is another feeble attempt at a self-fulfilling prophecy – only I can change my life, my relationships, sorry!

  • Robert Gilmour

    No matter how many people tell me ‘social media will change my life, relationships &c &c–’ – I’m sorry – it isn’t, hasn ‘t and won’t. This is another feeble attempt at a self-fulfilling prophecy – only I can change my life, my relationships, sorry!

  • http://twtrcoach.com TwtrCoach

    Wow!

    What a great and extremely balanced article. Great insight on building the right principle for creating a superior customer experience.

    Just loved this article.. :)

    Cheers.. Are

  • http://ProfitablePopularity.com/ Dr. Rachna Jain

    John Paul,
    You aren’t kidding. Cell phones can be tough competition. Thanks for commenting!

  • http://ProfitablePopularity.com/ Dr. Rachna Jain

    John Paul,
    You aren’t kidding. Cell phones can be tough competition. Thanks for commenting!

  • http://ProfitablePopularity.com/ Dr. Rachna Jain

    David,
    Totally true. I think that the amount of visibility we have into people’s lives now makes the problem that much worse. Thanks for commenting

  • http://ProfitablePopularity.com/ Dr. Rachna Jain

    David,
    Totally true. I think that the amount of visibility we have into people’s lives now makes the problem that much worse. Thanks for commenting

  • http://ProfitablePopularity.com/ Dr. Rachna Jain

    Great points. I, too, have made some important friendships and connections through social media. And it’s a good idea to make regular coffee dates with our face to face friends, too! Thanks for your comments.

  • http://ProfitablePopularity.com/ Dr. Rachna Jain

    Great points. I, too, have made some important friendships and connections through social media. And it’s a good idea to make regular coffee dates with our face to face friends, too! Thanks for your comments.

  • http://ProfitablePopularity.com/ Dr. Rachna Jain

    David,
    Thank you for taking the time to comment and for pointing me to Barbara Arneil’s book. I’ll be sure to check it (and your blog posting) out!

  • http://ProfitablePopularity.com/ Dr. Rachna Jain

    David,
    Thank you for taking the time to comment and for pointing me to Barbara Arneil’s book. I’ll be sure to check it (and your blog posting) out!

  • http://ProfitablePopularity.com/ Dr. Rachna Jain

    Thanks- I completely agree with your thoughts. I particularly liked the questions you posed. I’ve printed them out and posted them by my computer!

  • http://ProfitablePopularity.com/ Dr. Rachna Jain

    Thanks- I completely agree with your thoughts. I particularly liked the questions you posed. I’ve printed them out and posted them by my computer!

  • http://ProfitablePopularity.com/ Dr. Rachna Jain

    Pam,
    You’re absolutely correct. Having a thoughtful response strategy is crucial. Thanks for your comments!

  • http://ProfitablePopularity.com/ Dr. Rachna Jain

    Prashmohan,
    I think we all do the comparison thing to some extent. But if we are careful, as you recognize, we can use the social media tools more effectively. Thank you for taking the time to add to the discussion.

  • http://ProfitablePopularity.com/ Dr. Rachna Jain

    Prashmohan,
    I think we all do the comparison thing to some extent. But if we are careful, as you recognize, we can use the social media tools more effectively. Thank you for taking the time to add to the discussion.

  • http://ProfitablePopularity.com/ Dr. Rachna Jain

    Susan,
    Awesome! Thanks for spreading more positive impact in the world!

  • http://ProfitablePopularity.com/ Dr. Rachna Jain

    Susan,
    Awesome! Thanks for spreading more positive impact in the world!

  • http://ProfitablePopularity.com/ Dr. Rachna Jain

    MJ,
    Thank you for commenting. You raise some good points- especially about how your online or digital friends can step up when your physical friends can’t/don’t. I’m sorry about your grandmother, my thoughts are with you during this time.

  • http://ProfitablePopularity.com/ Dr. Rachna Jain

    MJ,
    Thank you for commenting. You raise some good points- especially about how your online or digital friends can step up when your physical friends can’t/don’t. I’m sorry about your grandmother, my thoughts are with you during this time.

  • http://ProfitablePopularity.com/ Dr. Rachna Jain

    Dino,
    Thank you! I appreciate your input and clear explanation of Maslow’s Hierarchy. Now about that super secret 6th level… :)

  • http://ProfitablePopularity.com/ Dr. Rachna Jain

    Dino,
    Thank you! I appreciate your input and clear explanation of Maslow’s Hierarchy. Now about that super secret 6th level… :)

  • http://ProfitablePopularity.com/ Dr. Rachna Jain

    Rob,
    Agreed! Thank you for taking a minute to comment!

  • http://ProfitablePopularity.com/ Dr. Rachna Jain

    Rob,
    Agreed! Thank you for taking a minute to comment!

  • http://ProfitablePopularity.com/ Dr. Rachna Jain

    Robert,
    Interesting perspective. At the very least, don’t you see social media as making it easier to stay in touch with significant people in your life? Would that not be an impact? Just curious about your thoughts on this.

  • http://ProfitablePopularity.com/ Dr. Rachna Jain

    Robert,
    Interesting perspective. At the very least, don’t you see social media as making it easier to stay in touch with significant people in your life? Would that not be an impact? Just curious about your thoughts on this.

  • http://ProfitablePopularity.com/ Dr. Rachna Jain

    Are,
    Thank you for reading and the very kind words. I appreciate both!

  • http://ProfitablePopularity.com/ Dr. Rachna Jain

    Are,
    Thank you for reading and the very kind words. I appreciate both!

  • Beth

    Thanks – I find the term “social capital” an interesting concept. Something I am going to give some thought to and determine my social net worth.

  • Beth

    Thanks – I find the term “social capital” an interesting concept. Something I am going to give some thought to and determine my social net worth.

  • Kymberly

    Rachna: Your post covers the influence negative attitudes and moods in others’ online behaviors can have. However, is there research on the opposite effect? Do consistently upbeat online connections have a similar contagious effect?

  • Kymberly

    Rachna: Your post covers the influence negative attitudes and moods in others’ online behaviors can have. However, is there research on the opposite effect? Do consistently upbeat online connections have a similar contagious effect?

  • http://www.gillianpritchett.com Gill

    I agree about needng to be careful on misinterpreting the nature of a relaitnship. At the end of the day you do not really know the person that you may be about to do a JV with so having a written agreement signed by both parties is relationships are frequently played out in the public domain with real friends and associates being able to read (and comment on) your responses.You may not want the world to be party to your conversatons & discussions. I had a problem with a cousin writing comments on my FB wall that showed that she did not get it that I was on FB to network for business purposes so had ot block my wall from her.

  • http://www.gillianpritchett.com Gill

    I agree about needng to be careful on misinterpreting the nature of a relaitnship. At the end of the day you do not really know the person that you may be about to do a JV with so having a written agreement signed by both parties is relationships are frequently played out in the public domain with real friends and associates being able to read (and comment on) your responses.You may not want the world to be party to your conversatons & discussions. I had a problem with a cousin writing comments on my FB wall that showed that she did not get it that I was on FB to network for business purposes so had ot block my wall from her.

  • http://www.gillianpritchett.com Gill

    I meant that having a written agreement is essential. Somehow this got deleted from the comment above.

  • http://www.gillianpritchett.com Gill

    I meant that having a written agreement is essential. Somehow this got deleted from the comment above.

  • Robert Gilmour

    ‘Automated’ social communications are not a substitute for the development of ‘real’ social skills which I already see declining especially in the young, and expect this to continue. This should be considered to be a worrying trend in my view. I may be old fashioned but in a lot of what I see, read and hear, social media can be both depersonalising and intrusive. And no amount of electronic communication can really give you that unique personality which is so important both for career and personal development – and ultimately success and self enrichment and fulfilment.

  • http://www.socialmarketingdynamics.com/ Sydney @ Social Dynamics

    Interesting points! At some level, especially on your stream, there is a tendency to adapt the sentiments of your online friends.

  • http://ProfitablePopularity.com/ Dr. Rachna Jain

    Kymberly,
    This is a great question- thanks for asking it. While I’ve not read any research specifically related to spreading happiness online, the research I have read suggests that this would be more difficult to do. We each have a natural ‘setpoint’ for happiness that we return to, and it takes multiple positive interactions to adjust this setpoint. I doubt anyone of us could get enough consistent contact in a short enough time period to positively impact someone in a lasting way. That being said, we can, of course, spread good cheer, and be viewed as a happy and positive person.

  • http://ProfitablePopularity.com/ Dr. Rachna Jain

    Gill,
    That’s very true- written agreements are always good. Thanks for commenting!

  • http://ProfitablePopularity.com/ Dr. Rachna Jain

    That’s very true. We are most likely to be influenced by people who we feel are most like us- and generally this includes our friends. Thanks for your feedback!

  • http://ProfitablePopularity.com/ Dr. Rachna Jain

    Beth,
    Yes, social capital is an interesting concept. Remember that there is value (at least as far as social capital) if you have both broad and deep connections- so there is value in having a lot of acquaintances, as well, of course, as true friends. Glad you got value, and thanks for your input!

  • http://www.tolafamakinwa.net/ Tola

    Interesting point and nice read. I know I’m quite guilty of focusing on my online market because it’s so much easier to put up a front and just type away as opposed to physical meetings which can be quite tedicious.On a side note, it’s always interesting when people say there’s always someone you’re better than and someone you’re worse than. So who are the people at the bottom (very worst) or very top (the best)?? Just a thought :)

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  • Laura Shore

    This is very enlightening. It really is crazy to think how much social media affects a person’s mood. Although it’s needed to have a personal brand in this day and age, I really wish that everything would take some time to disconnect. I know I’m even guilty of going out and being constantly attached to social media, which isn’t the way it should be!

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  • Swaroop

    Good can i have more of such blogs it helped me a lot for DEBATE :)







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