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Tech Etiquette: The Art Of Making Virtual Friends

By Kara Matuszewski, CBSBoston.com
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BOSTON (CBS) — Meeting people and becoming friends isn’t like it used to be. While there are still chance meet ups and introductions by friends, more people are meeting online first. Whether it be for dating, business, or mutual fan bases, social media is connecting people in their home towns and across the world.

Kevin Phelan, Vice President at Gutenberg Communications, says technology has “accelerated” relationships.

Typically, he says, you see someone once a year at a conference, or you’re busy with your own life and don’t keep in touch with acquaintances. But with social media “you can keep a daily pulse of what’s going on. You can sit around the country and watch a game together. Then when you meet them in person, you all come together like you’ve never been apart.”

“I think it’s phenomenal to not lose touch and you’re eliminating the distance gap that a lot of people have,” he added.

Cait Downey of HubSpot agrees saying that online and offline relationships can run parallel. “It’s most magical when both lives overlap,” she said.

Downey says someone may have 1,000 friends on Facebook, and they may not have 1,000 friends in real life, but valuable information is still shared. With online relationships, she says, it’s easier to have conversations without interrupting people’s lives. “Phone calls can take blocks out of a day, but a tweet, text of Facebook message can quickly get a message across.”

Rich Brooks, president of flyte new media, says although this sharing of thoughts and ideas may seem foreign since it’s online rather than in person, it is still a relationship.

Brooks adds, “It’s not a relationship if it’s one-way; that’s called stalking.”

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