Why it’s Important to Check on Your “Strong” Work Friend


I get it, we’re busy. We’re so busy in fact, that most of us have little energy for anything other than work, binge-watching Netflix, and if we have a family somehow squeezing time in for them. Social media was supposed to make it easier to connect with friends, family, and other loved ones. But we feel even more disconnected and lonely than we did before.

As an introvert, I’ll be the first to admit that social media was exactly the kind of tool I wanted to help me network on my own terms. But it became a tool where we are inundated with endless content-too much of it brain cell killers. It became a tool where we started worrying about how many likes and follows we got, and if we could become the next IG superstar.

In the midst of this, friends are filtered via algorithms and with literally hundreds or thousands of “friends”/followers/connections it’s hard to keep up with everyone; let alone actually build something genuine. One day you’re seeing someone’s updates and the next they have disappeared. Did they take a social media break? How lucky! Good for them!

What if the disappearing act is an indication of something more serious?

Unfortunately, in the mix of people coming and going, it’s easy to miss seeing posts that would indicate a need for help. How many of you reading this have come to find out that someone who disappeared off of your timeline has died? Two of my Facebook friends have died by suicide to my knowledge. Two more have closed their accounts due to depression or other illnesses.

A colleague from a networking group meeting shared some research with me about the maximum number of people for optimal connection situations in a mastermind being no more than about 10 people. If that is the case, maybe that gives us a clue to how many people we can realistically establish relationships of substance with during a certain timeframe?

Even with only a few close friends, we have the potential to positively impact the lives of 80,000 people. So less may indeed be more. And despite the numerous ways we can connect on social media, deeper, more emotionally filling relationships are what we really crave.

Deep connections lead to less loneliness and mental illness.

The truth is, it will take a very conscious effort to reach out to people. Lots of us who work online have more connections than we would ever be able to handle in real life. So, start small. And be judicious about it. I have had people reach out to me on LinkedIn and after asking them to chat with me, (so I can get to know them a bit and learn how I may be of possible help to them as a networking partner) they come back with a sales pitch…

While in some workplaces the numbers game is important, I’d rather connect with people, not numbers. I get it, paying bills is important to mental health. However, paying bills and not having high levels of stress and burnout are even better for our mental health and wellness. People are no longer numbers when we go out of our way to speak with them on the phone, have a video chat with them, have an in-person business “playdate” with them, or just grab a cup of hot goodness at a local cafe with them. We learn that in addition to being business colleagues, we also have a love for Harleys or we plan on attending the same conference and could share the travel costs. It’s true that we can’t do all and be all to everyone, but we can start with checking on someone from our social networks. We can follow up with a simple note of “thinking of you”.  We can ask someone we haven’t seen pop up in our newsfeeds lately how they’re doing.  We can check on the friend who always seems like they have it all together on social media too.

Simple things matter much more than we think they do.

Lynette Davis is the Creator of Love Yourself Love Your Business. Follow her on Twitter @lynddavis