Social Media Creates Intimacy

social media intimacyI was walked up to a group of friends at an event last week and saw several gathered on a group of chairs and sofa in the hotel lobby… each with their smart phone out texting.


Not really. The group had been together for hours, out to dinner and very good friends.. but each of them were taking a moment to check in the friends and family at home.

An Internet connection doesn’t replace face to face time.. but it can enhance it. Rather than the knee jerk reaction that we are losing intimacy, watch this video from TED speaker Stefana Broadbent: How the Internet enables intimacy

Social Media strengthens relationships

Social Media Intimacy (from TED)

We worry that IM, texting, Facebook are spoiling human intimacy, but Stefana Broadbent’s research shows how communication tech is capable of cultivating deeper relationships, bringing love across barriers like distance and workplace rules.

Stefana Broadbent watches us while we talk (and IM, and text). She is one of a new class of ethnographers who study the way our social habits and relationships function and mutate in the digital age.

There are some limits to what is good for certain jobs and situations. A doctor performing surgery would know better than to chat with friends during the procedure… but might want to check on a patient or phone home before or after.

Can You Improve Your Relationships With Social Media?

Technology allows me to stay in touch in a few moments here and there while doing whatever I want to be doing. I certainly don’t want to take client calls during a family dinner, but I love that I get to make that choice.

Let’s not discuss all the ways we limit our use of social media.. I’d like to hear more stories like Stefana shared how you improve relationships with prospects, clients and friends.

Add a comment below, and be sure to include a link where we can let you know how we use this in our book.

Warren Whitlock
Best Seller Book Expert

12 thoughts on “Social Media Creates Intimacy”

  1. I agree Warren. I’ve experienced how social media paves the way for some new face to face connections. It also creates new pathways for staying in touch with loved ones. I’ve experienced the full range of conversations, happy, sad, mad, glad and frustrated – just via texting. That doesn’t cover the twitter conversations, the blog posts and the Facebook status updates. I’m a boomer, decades away from being a kid, and see this applying to multiple generations who choose to use SM tools to enhance, not replace. — Once again, it’s all about relationships. Leave fear at the door and learn how these tools can help used well.

    1. @RevelnCoaches when I talk to people outside the buzz zone.. family, freinds, strangers who don’t make their living in anything like info products or technology, They look at these tools to enhance their lives… It’s easy to get jaded or focused on the technology.. but real people are using this to do what they alwasys do.. just faster and more often… increasing intamacy

  2. Agreed. My group, including friends and family in diverse worlds, seemed to have hit the tipping point of realizing how social media not only enhances, but also is another means to help live their lives, by getting things done, including conversations that need a place to happen besides a phone call or staid, am I saying that, email? Intimacy lives in multiple places!

    1. @RevelnCoaches rude people are just better at being rude with these tools 🙂

      It’s really not the tools, it’s the people… good or bad.. Fortunately, most people are good, and their use reflects it

  3. I’ve seen social media like Twitter go both ways. Some of my family members have talked to me while texting or surfing the web, never making eye contact while I talk. Their responses are a lot less, well, intelligent, and I find that the intimacy there is fading.
    But with others who are more responsible that’s not the case at all. I’m betting it’s all a matter of respect and maturity to understand when to be connected three-dimensionally or connected online. If used well, social media can enhance your life so, so much.

  4. I completely agree that social media enhances relationships. I don’t live near any of my family members — some are 90 minutes away, others 5 or 9 hours, and still others on the other side of the country. A few years ago, one group of relatives I had been engaged with on a daily basis defriended me on Facebook. The reasons why aren’t important, but the long term impact on our relationships is informative . Instead of being engaged and aware about what the adults, teenagers, and kids in that family are up to, I am disconnected. I still talk to them and visit, but much less often — partially because I don’t see the post or photo that might prompt me to call or give us something to talk about. I was an active part of the family when we were linked online. I still am genetically, but every month that passes I become less connected. If it continues, as I expect it will, we will eventually be little more than acquaintances. And the really sad thing is that I truly believe that the relatives involved don’t want that to happen.

    1. Anyone yelling into a phone must realize that the relationship with people distant from you is real.

      Unfortunately, we only see the surface when we observe others. We think they can’t possibly be engaged and we “know” that face to face it better.. but when we look at our own use, we can see that one text or email can ruin a day.. one post card from a child can make us happy all day.

  5. Right Nik.

    I assume that there may be some truth to the facts the naysayers share. We ARE rewiring our brains, and life will be different in the future.

    The classic insinuation model that #oldmedia uses is “it must have something wrong then” thinking which isn’t mentally challenging to agree with . I mean, why else would they report?

    Our brains are rewired. That’s not good or bad. We will see more use of technology, and progress can’t be stopped.

    Would be nice to see more digging into what would be a profitable way to thrive in this new world.

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