I’m sure many of us can remember the days of Saturday morning cartoons. In fact I’m sure many of you can relate to some of those safety messages they played in between our favourite kid shows. Videos like this:
Their intention with the message is quite clear.
Don’t Talk To Strangers
And with the internet being more main stream, no doubt many people are more concerned about this.
They were certainly concerned in rather recent years, however there is a staggering amount of info suggesting the idea to talk to strangers.
There are certainly still threats out there with the internet. Online bullying, and of course there are still predators out there.
However despite that, many people are quite open, and in fact, can become happier through talking to strangers.
Of course with the internet and social media, talking to strangers is a lot easier. I’m at the point now where this is part of my life.
However I want to focus on the world outside of the internet.
I’m talking about meeting people face to face. Networking or casually talking to people on the street.
The internet does make talking to strangers much easier. Not to mention you can forge incredible bonds and get value from them. However the same holds true for people out in the real world.
In fact I’d argue making connections or even talking to strangers outside of the internet is even better for you. At least on a mental stand point.
It’s good for a few reasons.
First You Need To Think Fast
One of the luxuries of texting, and email is you can always take your time with it. Unless the person is expecting an immediate response, generally you can mull it over.
By talking to strangers you have to be faster. Standing there and not talking to a person for hours or minutes in utter silence can be rather awkward.
You need to carry a conversation with them. For that you need to develop social skills.
Second, It Shows Your Emotions
Building on thinking fast, it shows your true emotions. Because the “response time” is significantly smaller it’s easier to connect on an emotional level. To identify emotion and your word choice as well.
I believe this is even more important since we are deceptively good at filtering our feelings in posts on social media. We can mask our true emotions while out in public it’s a lot tougher.
Not to mention that it’s difficult to convey emotions through texting. Even now with emojis they don’t fully fix the problem of understanding people.
Third, You Gain New Skills
I used to be terrible with social skills. I didn’t understand cues and I struggled a lot on that emotional level. I’d mix up my words and I’ve ruined friendships as a result of this.
But through those blunders, I was able to learn who my true friends are. I also have some social skills now thanks to it. Because I spend some level of time outside talking to people, I’m able to brush up on my skills.
Fourth, You Can Get More Fans
Alright you got me, this is better when you have a business, but it still is true. In some cases talking to people and genuinely having a conversation as opposed to pitching to them, you can get a fan out of it.
For example I had a dentist appointment not long ago and because I was chatting with them I got one extra reader. I have no idea if she reads my posts, however the fact she was genuinely interested is great.
Even Though The Internet Is Great…
I’ve learned the hard way that there will be a time where you need to talk to people in the outside world. It came as a huge shock to me that I had terrible social skills and I couldn’t handle my emotions despite being a “normal person” online.
We don’t change skins when we’re online or anything like that. We may be able to filter our emotions in Snapchat posts, but when you have terrible conversation skills or people skills, it’ll definitely show in real life.
To your growth!
Eric S Burdon