Women Build Real-Life Relationships Online
Some might say we are too attached to our many devices: laptops, smart phones, iPads. But apparently women today are very smart about how they use their devices and online social networks.
Forbes’ Meghan Casserly brought up some interesting statistics in How Your Twitter Addiction Could Save Your Social Life. She says women are translating their Twitter and Facebook networks to the real world, building on their relationships and connecting with people in real life:
Most recently a survey of 15,000 women revealed some truly shocking news: that contrary to popular opinion, all those hours we spend Internetting might be finally paying off in the real world. According to a survey conducted by SheSpeaks.com and Women’s Marketing Inc., one in three women say that their online social media usage has made them more social offline than they were before.”
But what about the men? Casserly notes that men tend to use social media for different reasons. One study said men use it to amass knowledge, while women are looking for connections:
. . . Women say they use social network to strengthen existing friendships. They’re more likely to connect with people they know; 93% using social media to read posts and view pictures from friends, or to comment on their friends’ profiles. For men these numbers are much less: 89% and 84% respectively.”
So maybe we shouldn’t feel so bad about jumping on Facebook and Twitter, especially when it’s helping us grow our own networks. You never know who you might reconnect with or who you might meet.
I’ve experienced firsthand how the internet can help you make new friends and build new social networks. In my first years out of college, I moved often: I was in three different states within three years. I didn’t know many people in these states, and making new friends was a concern for me. You meet people at work, but sometimes you need to get away from the office conversations and “shop talk”. I used — and continue to use — Meetup.com to meet new people in my area. Most people think Meetup is a dating website. Yes, there are singles groups, but there are also women’s groups and networking groups. I met some nice and smart women also living in the Chicago suburbs through one women’s social group. On Tuesday night, I networked with other professionals in my field at the Chicago Filmmakers Meetup. I left the event with a stack of business cards, and also got the chance to hear from a talented filmmaker, Prashant Bhargava, whose film Patang has won several awards.
I never would have met these people or known about these networking events without the internet. And I’m not the only one who has had success with this. On Tuesday, I talked about hearing author Nichole Bernier speak at a local book shop in my post Your Passion and the Work/Life Balance. She also mentioned using Twitter and social media to build her network when she moved to a different state. You have to use what is available to you, and use it effectively. The internet is available and ready for all of us to use.
How do you use social media? Consider or continue using it in new and positive ways, and make your connections meaningful ones.
To read more about my adventures using the internet to build my networks, visit my website. Check out the categories “Career Girl” and “Single in the Suburbs.”
To read more statistics from Casserly’s article, click here.