Giving and Withholding

There it was on my Facebook feed–another “friend” invitation from someone I don’t know. That isn’t unusual, and most of the people I follow on FB are people I do not know in person. Still, we all have some connection–writing, sketching, collage, some worked at companies I’ve worked at. It’s comfortable–I don’t post super-personal information. It’s not the people, it’s FB itself that makes me leery.

Screen Shot 2014-12-27 at 8.40.40 PMWhat made this different is that within minutes of accepting the friend request, I received another request: to “like” their business page, to join their private group, and for two of them, to contribute to their private fund-raiser.

It confused me. Receiving a friend request is not being invited to someone’s house, but it also seems awkward to ask someone for money you have just friended on Facebook. And yet, I have given money to total strangers–the homeless begging at the side of the freeway or in front of stores. So why not on Facebook?

Because there is no personal contact. One person friended me, then immediately sent me a private message wishing me Merry Christmas.  Immediately after that came a request for medical expense money for his family. The photo could be any family, anywhere. The need could have been real, the request legitimate.

The homeless I give money to are people I “know”–also in a different way. I see the same people on the same corners. Tenuous as it is, it is a face-to-face transaction.

No matter what business you are in–from selling your ebooks to your art to your services–the personal connection is the one that will work. But it has to be real. Once people experience you, your service, your offer, your real work, there is something to react to. It can’t be an instant, one-way tag-game for the soft touch. That has never worked, and it won’t work just because FB makes it easier to connect.

Quinn McDonald is a life coach and an instructor. She knows the value of relationships.



6 thoughts on “Giving and Withholding

  1. FB is a curious microcosm. I ‘use’ it, but suspect it ‘uses’ me too…the digital persona is an odd concept – invisible ‘people’. Happy new year to you! (from a real/digital person!!) 😉

  2. I am always amazed at the “family” we create on Facebook…It starts out with your immediate circle of friends (we are trying to get my sister in law on FB and have promised to friend her so she will have some friends???).Then your circle of “friends” expands and expands. I noticed your name on a reply to one of my art friends (maybe Leighanna Light or Katherine Engen??) and felt good that we “know” the same people.I am not sure how I started following you on your blog, but I won a one on one coaching session with you and was amazed! So you are one of my Internet/FB friends who I have never met, but greatly respect and admire.  Shari Adkisson  aka TX Creatrix aka Wyld Womyn Nrrd

    Work Like You Don’t Need the Money, Dance Like No One Is Looking and Love Like You Have Never Been Hurt!

    • I met Katherine Engen on FB, and then taught at Valley Ridge–that’s the best kind of connection. And I’m thrilled to have a lot of writing and art “friends” there. There are a lot of smart people there, and, sadly, a lot of opportunistic hosers as well.

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