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      Ice Breaker – Social Media and Human Interaction

      ICE BREAKER Social Media

      Each week on The Stretched Blog, I ask an ice breaker question. The questions are designed to help us get to know each other here in The Stretched Community. I’ll provide my answer to the question here in the post, and then you can leave your response in the comments. While you’re in the comments section, see how others answered the ice breaker question.

      (I’m always looking for Ice Breaker question ideas.  If you have an idea, send me an email at jon@jonstolpe.com.  If I use your question, I’ll give you credit and share your links.)

      Question:  Do you think that Facebook, Twitter, and other social media genuinely enhance friendship and human interaction?  Why or why not?

      My Answer:  I say yes and no to this question.

      First the yes.  Facebook, Twitter, the blogging community, and other social media has given me the opportunity to connect and establish friendships with many people across the country and around the world.  As a result of my on-line presence, I’m friends with people like:  Larry “The Deuce” Carter from Tennessee, Dan Erickson from Washington, Ellory Wells from Texas, Matthew Lovell from Georgia, Amy Robles from Washington, Steve Young from Pennsylvania, Michael Shaw from Pennsylvania, and Chad Jones from Arizona.  (And these are just a few of the people I’ve connected with on-line.)  I’ve met a few of these people in person (Dan, Steve, Michael, and Chad), but these friendships have generally been developed on-line.

      Facebook in particular gives me the opportunity to stay in touch with many people who might normally fall off my radar.  I appreciate the chance to stay in touch with friends from high school, college, and other places from my past.  Social media has even given me the opportunity to re-establish communication with some long lost friends and acquaintances.

      From these connections, I can definitely tell you that social media can enhance friendship and human interaction.

      But there is another side to this question – the no side.

      I believe we were made for relationship.  And I also believe that the best relationships are cultivated face-to-face.  Social media cannot fully translate all the thoughts, feelings, and emotions that can be expressed when humans interact directly face-to-face.  This is why I go to church every week.  This is why I work in an office next to my co-workers.  This is why my family tries to eat together at dinner time.  This is why I meet with thirteen other guys every Friday at 6AM.

      I love the opportunities and connections the social media and blogging world have created for me, but I also know I need the kind of community and accountability that can only happen when I’m looking someone eye-to-eye and face-to-face.

      Answer this week’s ice breaker question by leaving a comment. I look forward to reading your response! (As always, feel free to share links.) And keep Stretching!