Do It Myself Blog – Glenda Watson Hyatt

Motivational Speaker

Going Beyond Social Media to Connect Deeply

Filed under: Living with a disability,Social Media — by at 4:06 pm on Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Glenda Watson Hyatt and Lorelle VanFossen laughing it up Darrell and I are enjoying Lorelle VanFossen’s company following WordCamp Whistler (a day long session on using the blogging platform WordPress). While the snow falls yet again, we are having an intimate WordCamp Hyatt – you may notice some changes on my blog, and we’re having great conversations – many of which are unbloggable! But there is one story that is safe to share:

Lorelle and her husband spent six years in Israel. The first year in the country, Lorelle struggled with the language, carefully choosing her limited Hebrew to communicate her message. Without being able to communicate freely with others around her, a feeling of isolation crept in As time passed, her Hebrew became somewhat more fluent and the isolation began melting away.

Returning home to the United States, Lorelle was relieved to hear English all around her. She no longer had to struggle to make her point known in a few precious words. She could freely speak, using as many words as she liked. However, she then became aware of how much of the spoken word is wasted breath. People may utter many words without saying anything at all.


I now knew she understood how much of a struggle it is for me to speak Glenda-ish around others who don’t understand Glenda-ish; how much I struggle to find clear words to get my point across. But when I’m with people with a Masters in Glenda-ish, I can talk off their ears for hours!

I am also amazed by the wasted words people speak. To me, those unnecessary words are such a waste of precious resource. Why do few people think before they open their mouth? Could this resource not be used more productively, more efficiently, more lovingly?

While the three of us were sitting in Darrell’s office, talking, another equally valuable realization struck. All of this social media is awesome for meeting people and for maintaining surface relationships. Having all of these tools to connect with hundreds or even thousands of people is empowering and liberating. However, intimate face-to-face time is when the deep connections are formed and memorable moments are made.

Regardless of the number of Twitter followers, Facebook friends or StumbleUpon subscribers, the time spent snowed in with Lorelle talking, laughing, eating and forming a deep connection will be a cherished memory for years to come.

My advice to you: close TweetDeck, turn off your iPhone and take some time have a meaningful conversation and laugh with someone dear to you. Make a memory, today, that you will cherish for lifetime.

If you enjoyed this post, consider buying me a chai tea latte. Thanks kindly.

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Comment by Barbara Swafford

January 27, 2009 @ 11:56 pm

Hi Glenda – You’ve nailed this. There certainly is a lot of “noise” on social networking sites and like you said, it’s so much more rewarding when we can have face to face communication with others. We can see the expressions on their faces, hear them laugh, and watch their body language. With the internet being so popular, we often forget about the real world that surrounds us. Thank you for the great reminder.

P.S. Lorelle is a mentor of mine, too. What she does for the blogging world is phenomenal.

Comment by Suzie Cheel

January 28, 2009 @ 3:38 am

Great post , have just stumbled , wow turn off tweet deck

thanks for the reminder
Love & hugs


Comment by Karen Putz / DeafMom

January 28, 2009 @ 5:52 am

Love, love, love Lorelle and now I cannot wait to meet you at SOBCon.

I’ve been unplugged a lot lately but for me, I feel so out of touch because so many of my accessible conversations are happening online!

Comment by DeBorah Beatty

January 28, 2009 @ 12:25 pm

You are so very right. I just blogged about this myself. So much with social networking is numbers – Followers, Friends, whatevers, but every third tweet on Twitter is about follow this person so they can crack 2000 followers or something like it and it’s getting harder and harder to actually interact with those individuals as you get lost in the pile.

Face to face will always and should always be the preferred method of communication, in my ever so humble opinion!

Great job!

Comment by Amanda

January 30, 2009 @ 5:21 am

What a great post! I love learning foreign languages but so often get frustrated by my inability to speak as freely as I do in English (even when I understand what is said to me perfectly, forming the right words and pronouncing it so it is understood can be so difficult) and I never really thought about it but I do believe my experiences in other countries and the isolation you do feel there has affected the way in which I use my words… though saying that I can ramble on with the best of them at times too!!

I’m glad you’ve been able to spend some amazing quality time with a friend and make many happy memories – my closest friendships are actually with some of the people I met online and then met in person and spent time getting to know them at an even deeper level – it then makes your online relationship change in such an amazing way too! Thanks for sharing your joy!

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