Frozen Friendships

Recently I reconnected on Facebook with some guys I hadn�t had any contact with for over 30 years. We had been friendly at school but not friends.

It�s a strange thing looking at a person�s life, albeit through the distorted lens of social media, when there has been such a long gap. Jolting is the word that comes to mind.

Wives, children, jobs, friends, holidays, emotions, victories, disappointments are laid bare to varying degrees depending on the personality of the person in question. Rapport and context are important parts of any relationship and re-connections invariably rely on memories of your last experiences. If those experiences were a long time ago it�s sometimes hard to get a read on that person.

Of course it�s quite a nice thing to re-connect with nice people and maybe I�m over-thinking this but it does make me think about similar experiences. Like when brands �go social� and expect everyone to follow them or to be fascinated in every photo, post or video. You haven�t connected with me personally for decades and now you�re asking me to like your �Aren�t we happy it�s the weekend!� comments. Does it really work that way?

Look, it can. But with any relationship there are some steps that you need to take; it�s like being brought up to speed. I�ve wrihigh res versiontten a book about it called Customer Romance! Brands forget the steps at their peril. Miss a step or two and it feels weird and, quite frankly a little presumptuous.

That�s not anyone�s intention of course but you can�t just drop into someone�s life, inbox or newsfeed and expect that they�re going to be instantly fascinated with everything that you do or say.


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Peter Applebaum

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