I can’t tell you how many times recently I’ve heard “You can’t create relationships on the internet. You have to do that face to face.”
About 10 years ago I would have agreed with you. Maybe even 5 years ago. But…times change. We live in a different world now than we used to. Many people are working from home. They don’t commute to a building where they can meet others around the water cooler and chat. (OK…gossip…either way…) Facebook and twitter are the new water coolers.
I can remember a time, about 10 years ago, when I would go to the store in our little town, my husband could pretty much count on the fact that I would be gone for at least an hour to go about 2 miles down the road, grab a couple things and come home. What in the world took so long? I was chatting with people. Catching up on what had been going on in their lives and catching them up on me. Today, everyone is in a hurry. They are rushing from here to there and there to there. Very few people have time for face to face chats anymore. We get updated on what’s going on in our friends’ lives via their facebook status updates and their tweets.
Heck…my mom lives in Montana and I live in NY. I see her once a year if I’m lucky enough to have her fly home for a visit. But…we are closer now than ever. We keep in touch long distance via facebook, email and phone calls. She moved to the middle of nowhere when the grandkids were all very little (some weren’t even born yet). They now range in age from 12 to 22. They all have a relationship with their Grandmother. Even though they rarely ever see her.
I have a very good friend who lives in Washington state. She has been there for me through thick and thin. She knows things about me that no one knows. I met her online around 2005. I met her in person just three times. She’s like a sister to me. Our relationship began as a business partnership and evolved into a great friendship.
Another friend I met online helped my family find a place to live when we decided to move from NY to KY. I had met her in person about three times prior to that. Our relationship was formed online.
Now…do I suggest that you send your life savings to, or agree to marry, someone you met online and have never met in person? Absolutely not. You must use your common sense.
I do, however, know that people join in business people they know, like and trust. Can that know, like and trust be formed on the internet? YES…absolutely! However, it only works if you are open and honest. If you are feeding people a line, most will see through your BS. Oh sure…you may get one or two who fall for it, but the majority of people…the ones you really want on your team…will see right through any shenanigans you try.
Bottom line…be honest…be real…be genuine and you can form relationships with people over the internet.