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Feeling the Love on LinkedIn

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I did not get a new job this week.

I did get 25+ “likes” and “congratulatory messages” via LinkedIn on my new job.

I learned a lot this week about relationships, specifically about maintaining relationships using social media networks. There has been much written about how social media causes the breakdown of relationships, isolation and loneliness. Much has also been written in response, claiming the opposite to be true.

Both truths exist simultaneously for me.

I have a few friends who refuse to post birthday greetings on Facebook or LinkedIn, preferring to call me on the telephone. This week, I connected with two such friends, after many months of disconnection, and we shared private thoughts and feelings during lengthy conversations. I was almost convinced that there could be only one truth about social media relationships, until I began feeling the love on LinkedIn.

* * * * * * *

Occasionally, I remember that I need to curate my LinkedIn profile. It’s not like my Facebook pages, which I visit several times a day to post updates and connect with friends. LinkedIn is for work-related matters, and I rarely post there unless it’s relevant to my work.

But I had some time on my hands, and I had received a few requests to add people to my network. So I logged on and began scrolling through my profile. The job title for my work with Ramah Darom caught my eye. I had written “Jewish Women’s Retreat” on LinkedIn, but the program’s proper title is “Jewish Women’s Getaway.” Thinking nothing of it, I made the correction and clicked the Done Editing button.  Then I went back to my email and online banking, unaware that LinkedIn had broadcasted this revision to my 700+ person network and invited them to “Say congrats on the new job.”

After a handful of notifications reached my inbox, I returned to LinkedIn and added a brief comment, trying to correct my friends and save them the trouble of connecting with me over this non-event. Either nobody read my comment or they found it irrelevant, because the messages continued to arrive throughout the week.

Yesterday, I received this message from a friend with whom I have connected in cyberspace and in the real world, multiple times, in the last few months:

“Fantastic. This year’s retreat was proof that you are the perfect person for the job.”

That’s when I knew that it is possible to transmit love and support, to dispel loneliness, to make a friend’s day and to reinforce the foundations of a relationship, all with a few key strokes.

ramah retreat avatars web

Save-the-date: The 2014 Jewish Women’s Getaway at Ramah Darom will be Sunday, November 9th through Wednesday, November 12th. Join our online community on Facebook to receive updates and participate in year-round events.

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Comments (6)

You ARE the perfect person for the job, and I could feel the love as you were helping us secure 118 alumni donations ALL day on giving Tuesday. What a way to use social media to show your dedication this Hanukkah and do a mitzvah! THANK YOU.

*blushing*
Thank you, my friend.

This post does such a perfect job of capturing my own ambivalence about social media. I too wonder if it is substituting surface-level interaction for more meaningful relationships. But then something happens like your own experience above and I realize I’m so grateful for the chance to communicate so easily with the people in my life.

Also a plus: the great folks who have come into my life through social media (you among them!).

Ginny, I was definitely thinking of you & Fran, and Kyle Cupp, a few other people I’ve “met” through FB & LinkedIn when I was writing this piece!

And we the outlyer, but old friends, just want to know what is going on, keep up the good and innovative work, Naomi

Naomi, it’s been too long! Come south, where it’s marginally warmer & no snow (for now).

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