Establishing Good Online Relationships

Building online relationships happens in stages and by degrees. There is the first interaction stage. This is where people introduce themselves to one another. Commonly this could be a follow on Twitter, a YouTube comment, or someone dropping by to say hi in a chat room. It can be wise to be slow at this stage. The next stage is building up a repore. Do you share common interests, ideas or whatever. Often people feel out if they really like other people by the ways that they communicate, talk , write, etc. People with different life experiences communicate very differently. For example I have a hard time communicating with more tech savvy people because they have a huge lingo that would take me more than a life time to learn. If you build a repore than you are often considered a friend or family to the person. At this stage you exchange deep goals and other things intrinsically tied to emotion. The good, the bad, and the ugly stuff that we usually hide. Things can get more personal. People in business have to decide where the lines are. But if you socialize to be social and fun than there are less barriers. Communication than can progress to meeting people. At this stage you choose to hang out and do stuff with the people that you meet online. Face to face and phone communication really transform relationships into something physically more tangible and understandable.

Many of these stages may be out of order or missing in your case.

One key of online communication is listening for subliminals. Ask yourself what are they really trying to communicate when they leave that comment. Is it sarcastic? Lukewarm? Or is it genuine? Sometimes people can be playful and unexplicit and it is hard to tell what they are really trying to say. Obviously because of enhanced noise in online communication, things can be tricky and problematic. Unfortunately besides getting better at it by doing it, there is something to be said of taking risks. The old saying goes if you never try to make friends you will never get them. The same thing happens online. People will be less apt to friend you unless you go after people as well. It is also important once you establish an online click of people to network beyond those people that you share a good repore with. In Twitter for example I often communicate with the same people. They are the ones who respond to me the most. Unfortunately I often shelter myself in them, because I know what I say has no consequence. If they do not understand they will readily get to the bottom of it. They will never unfollow me unless something crazy happened. But the risk in not trying to get out into the party is that social media will never reach its potential for us. At the same time always be researching on how to improve written and verbal communication online. Thanks for reading.

- Joe Gelb

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