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.”

Comments (4)
  1. jaygee says:

    It’s not the same as it used to be because too many people can’t carry on a real conversation with the person in front of them but feel more comfortable talking to others they don’t even know. Far too many individuals are constantly “communicating” on cell-phones, texting meaningless messages, or sitting in front of their computer when all they have to do is simply leave the house and go out with real people in person. Only problem is that when many do that today they realize they don’t have anything to say.

  2. emom says:

    Jaygee, agree,,, teens seem to be the worst as well as business folks… I see kids on their cell texting and talking,, then when you see them in a group all they can say is,,,,, DUDE, HEY, YO MAN,, WHAT UP, then the conversation , stops and you can hear CRICKETS,,, I laugh since this is our future and most havent a clue on what a SOCIAL LIFE IS LIKE… mom and dad are to busy and working or on the go,,They the parents are on the phone and texting as well,,,,, dinner becomes fast food, or microwaved and the TV turned into a laptop , game system or an ipod…. TALK ABOUT BEING DISCONNECTED FROM THE WORLD… Called over kill….
    I will say I use texting, cell, and laptop, I have family out west and in the far north,, speaking to them is like impossible, time zones are off, schedulles are so different,,, BUT the occasional text to let them know when each is available to get on facebbook is great and then skype.. I have used both and its been great connecting with people I dont get to see ll year,,,Even Thou we do manage to see each other once a year, we still have a great time and play catch up on things… But for the most part most dont use it that way,,, its a way to mave mega groups of friends but not knowning a thing about them or ever seeing them….thats the sad part ,,,, we then become shut in’s and become hermits to social lives.

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