The following conversation really happened between me and my 15-year-old son, Brandon.

“Mom, you’re antisocial.”

“What do you mean I’m antisocial?” I was bewildered by Brandon’s accusation. He normally worships the ground I walk on.

“Look at your Snap score, Mom! It’s 190.” This meant I had sent and received 190 Snaps in my history of being on Snapchat. Wow. That was 188 more than I remembered.

“Pretty impressive, huh, Brandon?”

“Not at all!”

“So, what’s your Snap score?”

“166,136.”

Yes, this conversation really happened.

He continued: “If you’re not snapping, you’re not social.”

Balderdash! I leapt onto my mighty soapbox, and with the vigor of a great orator, I expounded on the virtues of face-to-face human interaction. Humans were designed for meaningful relationships…in three dimensions! We shall not be reduced to two-dimensional filters, lenses, and screenshots! If we were meant to be that superficial, we’d all be Kim Kardashian! My tirade lasted 25 minutes. Brandon might have heard me, but he was busy snapping.

Then, finally, he put his phone down. He looked at me with the deepest sincerity—like he was peering into my soul. “Mom,” he uttered. “Kim Kardashian is so old school.”

I share this with you because while my team and I run a social media company, we see social media as a way to complement face-to-face (and voice-to-voice) connections…not replace them. At Delaware ShoutOut, we wouldn’t have the business we enjoy without attending networking events, having one-on-one meetings over coffee, and getting to know people as real people.

Yes, social media is an important marketing tool. But accept it for what it is—just a tool. It will help your business stay top of mind, so that customers think of you before they think of your competitors. It will help you humanize your brand, especially when you post about your community outreach or spotlight your employees. And it will help you boost your search engine rankings.

But no matter how many selfies, hashtags, or LOLs you put online, nothing will build trust as effectively as a good, ole’ fashioned conversation and a handshake.

So, go forth and network! It’ll take your business to a whole new dimension.

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