Social Networking vs. Traditional Networking

Here’s a question that was thrown around at Maiden Media (originating from their PR guy): Is social networking taking away from the value of traditional, face-to-face networking.

Or, to present the question in a different manner, is internet networking making people interact less in-person with people?  Social networking is usually more convenient and less time-consuming, but do you get the same effect as you would while interacting with a person in front of you?

Have you ever had a conversation with someone online and felt that it wasn’t as valuable as it would be in person? For example, you were talking to a friend about something personal. Would you much rather have had that conversation in person or do you not mind at all?

To argue it on the opposing view, networking online has made it more possible for people to interact frequently because it is easier to do so through Facebook, Twitter, and e-mailing.  People have the chance to interact with people that they may not have the chance to meet often, or ever.

Social networking is useful for communicating with not just friends and family, but with clients, co-workers, and other people related to one’s business/career. Of course there are networking services like LinkedIn, which is specific to business networking, but students should be aware that their prospective employers/clients can easily do some research and check out their Facebook or Twitter pages also.

One comment

  1. I have always felt that social networking is good for making a connection, but not good for furthering that connection. It is much easier to meet someone, and make a contact through social networking. Anyone can essentially go online and search for a person they’re interested in contacting. Most of the time, if you google someone you can find an email address, twitter account, or facebook and linkedin accounts. This provides an easy way of making an initial contact. However, after the initial contact, I think it is important to have face to face or at least voice to voice communication. There is so much that is lost via online communication. Something as simple as not being able to determine the tone or inflection in someone’s voice can make all the difference in communication.

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