In today’s world, when we decide we want something, we want it immediately. Not tomorrow and not next week. Now. Yesterday. ASAP.
Patience, like maturity, is something we’re supposed to gain as we get older. But instead, the rise of every kind of technology has made patience largely obsolete. We can find answers to questions, get directions, take and share photos, make plans with friends, and learn the latest news updates in seconds flat. If we have to wait for something, what’s the point?
The point is that in order to be good, some things have to take time. In fact, the best things need to be fostered and fermented. Take, for example, wine and relationships.
Wine would be crappy if it was made in five minutes. Even if you could crush and press the grapes at lightning speed, wine takes up to 30 days to ferment. You’d have grape juice at best. It wouldn’t taste great and it definitely wouldn’t pack any kind of punch.
The same is true of relationships.
Because, as Scott Stratten so aptly stated in his book Unmarketing, “Social media doesn’t change the fact that relationships take time.”
As easy as it is to follow people on Twitter, read their updates, and let an imaginary friendships flourish, those relationships barely count. If we’re not taking the time to step out from behind the computer and meet people face-to-face, we’re doing it wrong.
Social media is great for making connections, but it’s terrible for building friendships.
A few weeks ago, I had coffee with Kenny Silva, a local real estate consultant who’s doing it right. I followed him on Twitter, but had never met him in person – until he started something called 100 Cups in 100 Days. In his own words:
Social media has been a good way of keeping in pseudo-touch with the world, but in my case it’s been just another cop-out. A couple of tweets a day… A blog post here and there… Sporadic Facebook status updates when I feel like it. For me, these have all amounted to nothing but a shallow attempt to cling to meager scraps of visibility in the community.
Over the next 100 days, I’m going to sit down for a cup of coffee with 100 different people. I want to hear their stories and learn from their experiences. I want to learn about their worries and struggles, business or personal, and do my best to serve them. I want to connect them with others who may share a similar story or be able to help. If nothing else, I want to restore a genuine sense of community in my life and the lives of those I meet.
This is what social media is about. It’s a tool we can use to accomplish something much more substantial. Because like a fine wine, the connections we make there get better with time.
Drink it in.