Social Networking in the Digital Age

Sharing laughs with Trevor Dennison of Hop Bottom, PA

Trevor Dennison of Hop Bottom, PA, has a smile as broad as the nation he travels as a long haul trucker. I would never have had the chance to meet this engaging reader had I depended entirely on social media for social networking.

Facebook is great, but face to face adds critical elements to the equation for authors, things like eye contact, body language and handshakes. Meet someone in person, and you’ve got a chance to establish a more substantial connection than you can in the wispy air of cyberspace.

Trevor showed up for a recent signing at the Steamtown Mall in Scranton, PA. He was interested in Bootlicker, my story of a dark secret that imperils a historic election in South Carolina. We found common ground in several areas, and within a few minutes were laughing like old friends.

I thought that was that, but next thing I knew, Trevor was helping steer people to my table. He even called a friend whom he thought would be interested, but who couldn’t get to the mall in time, and she and I had a brief chat. While all this was going on, we took a picture together and posted it on Facebook.

Hey, the point of this piece is not to replace social media with old-fashioned meet and greet, but to show how they can be used together!

When closing time came, I again thought that was that. Instead,  I received a message from Trevor asking for a stack of Bootlicker bookmarks that he could hand out when he’s on the road. Done and done. Another seed planted, and on we go …

Anyone have a similar experience? Please share.

2 Comments so far »

  1. Sonia G Medeiros said,

    Wrote on October 16, 2012 @ 3:10 am

    Good point. Social media shouldn’t replace face-to-face any more than we can be face-to-face with as many people as we can reach via social media. They can work together. The advantage to social media is that it can really help introverts (like me) come out of our shell until we’re ready for face-to-face. 😀

    [Reply]

    Steve Piacente Reply:

    Thanks for coming by, Sonia. Used together, social media and personal appearances can be very powerful. As for shying away from face-to-face, I’d recommend starting with a small group, maybe a mix of a few friends and some folks you don’t know so well. That way you can practice without so much pressure. It’s amazing how comfortable you’ll start to feel with a little practice.

    [Reply]

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