Relationships are a commodity

At least that’s how I feel sometimes when I’m on (fill in the blank with the most popular social media do-dad today). Because as much as I believe that there’s an educational curve to simply learning how to use these new tools, there’s also an educational curve on the philosophies of why and how you should use these tools. Right now, the popularity to social media is skyrocketing and you can’t swing a Twitter without finding someone who is a self-proclaimed expert or is teaching a seminar every week on “best practices.” And while I believe their intentions are good, what their audiences ultimately hear is all about the almighty numbers.

How many friends? How many fans? How many followers can you get in the least amount of time? In other words, the huge devaluing of relationships. Maybe it’s how the vast majority of humans are programmed to think these days – especially in the marketing world: more is better. More followers on Twitter means more people know about me and more people will buy my service/product. Right? Just like a SuperBowl spot means more eyeballs which means more sales, right?

I’ll let you draw your own conclusion from that one.

But, as we all know, relationships are NOT a commodity. And never will be. I know a lot of people that would help me out if I begged them to and just a handful that would come to my rescue before I even opened my mouth. They are the ones that have got my back. It’s the STRENGTH of the relationships that I have, not the NUMBER.

I’m as excited as anybody about all the very cool new social media bells and whistles that are constantly emerging. But I’m not excited about what has turned into a contest for many. Because in their eyes – if they realize it or not – relationships have become a commodity. And if the numbers become your guiding light, you’re about due to step off a cliff.

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