A Slap In The Facebook

Tuesday September 10th, 2013 – Fox Lake, IL

Success in life not only is about who a person knows, but how one develops each relationship. It requires constant maintenance, and there are always those checking in and out like the players in a basketball game. Everyone’s time is limited, so there needs to be a plan in place to succeed.

I’ve been going over my extensive list of contacts lately, and that’s another area of my life that can use a total overhaul. I haven’t had much of a plan, and it shows. With just a little solid effort, I feel ultra confident I can improve my life significantly in a relatively short time and I plan on it.

Today was a perfect example. I got on Facebook and checked the list of who else was on at the time and instant messaged about twenty people I hadn’t talked to in a long time. I popped in for a quick second to say hello, and every one of them answered back within a few minutes and said it was good to hear from me. It wasn’t invasive, and in fact quite a pleasant experience all around.

Most of them were other comedians, and a few others I’d worked with in radio. There wasn’t a reason to contact them other than to say hello, but the point is I made the effort. Who couldn’t do the exact same thing with a more targeted list of people on a consistent basis to build a network?

I thought I’d been pretty good at staying in contact with people through the years, but I can get a whole lot better. Facebook is an amazing tool, or at least it has the potential to be amazing. It’s always a matter of what one does with a tool that determines results, and I see a need to improve.

I’ve managed to acquire close to the 5000 friend limit on Facebook, but I can’t really say how I did it. I didn’t actively set out to do that, it just kind of happened. People would send me requests and I would say yes. I requested people to be my friends, and they said yes. There was no plan in place, but eventually I got up to 5000. Stragglers come and go, but it’s always right around there.

I was looking through my contact list today, trying to categorize where everyone came from so I can figure out the best way to stay in contact without being a pest. I like the idea of newsletters, but I don’t want to invade people’s privacy. There’s a delicate balance, and I never want to cross the line from friend or acquaintance to cyber psycho. Once that line is crossed, the game is over.

I see all kinds of wackadoos on Facebook who over post in my opinion, and I never want to be one of those. I don’t care about your melon headed kid’s first tee ball game, and care even less to see a picture of the guacamole you had for lunch or with whom you ate it. Does anybody care?

There are more than seven BILLION people these days, and America has only the third highest population. If I made a dozen contacts a day – a pretty high number – it wouldn’t make a dent if I did it seven days a week for fifty years. I have to carefully choose who I spend my time with, but the good news is I can make that choice. It’s time to make a list of my most prioritized contacts.

I do need to weed out a few time vampires, but everyone has those. Let them bother somebody else. I’m going to go around them, and focus on those I need to be in contact with and start from there. Doing what I did today gave me hope, and I could tell right away it was the right decision. The Facebooks and LinkedIns of the world have their downsides, but they’re still valuable tools.

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