Often, when I’m speaking about social media to a group of business-owners, some of them start to talk about how technology has basically shut people off from each other. They worry about how people have become utter zombies praying to the altar of technology and Tweeting or Facebooking 10 hours a day. They worry about how technology is going to effect their networking efforts offline if they seem too “plugged-in.” Therein lies the Great Social Media Myth…that technology is killing human contact and communication.

A myth is called a myth because its derived from the Greek word “mythos” which means “story.” This is a story we tell ourselves. I’m guessing the story comes from an actual unfounded fear of technology.

The truth is that social media is actually bringing people together who would never have had the opportunity to meet otherwise. Its a study in how humans actually crave connection. The world is literally getting smaller and people are communicating ideas and opinions more than ever before. Tweets, LinkedIn answers and Facebook posts are going out to all corners of the earth with one click of the “enter” button. This is really an amazing time for humankind.

It also proves that we’re actually meeting more people in the real world. Get togethers called Tweetups (http://www.wordspy.com/words/tweetup.asp) are forming all over the world which are bringing people together physically who connected first on Twitter. Conferences are fraught with people hugging one another in enthusiasm because they are finally meeting offline and feel they already have a close connection based on their online experiences with each other.

Facebook is connecting people who haven’t seen each other in years from elementary school, high school and/or college. These are connections which may have never happened for our parents or grandparents (for better or worse!).

Job hunters are finding positions on LinkedIn. Business owners are sharing their expertise with people across the globe answering topics in LinkedIn Answers and gaining business in places they would have never had the opportunity to connect in before.

I read an Australian study recently that stated that people are actually more productive who use social media and technology. I also read that these friendships help us live longer lives.

There will always be those people who will continue to write-off social media as a trend or as the great “dumbing down of society.” I think our connections online will continue to enhance and improve our offline connections and bring the world even closer together. Hey, I’m hoping for world peace! One can dream big, right?

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