This post first appeared in the 10 Million Clicks For Peace blog.

Many of you will not know that 10 Million Clicks For Peace co-founder, Rick Beneteau, was a pioneer of entrepreneuring on the Internet, starting to make a living online in 1996. In fact, he was responsible for helping some of today’s marquis marketers get their start. Today, he chimes in with his take on the current state of the Internet with a focus on social media in the form of an open letter.

Dear Social Media Friend,

In the span of a decade, we have lost the art of communication and the beauty of human connection. At least we’re well on the way to realizing that tragedy.

If you’re reading this you will probably have an army of new digital friends – perhaps thousands – who you now communicate with more frequently than the real friends you had ten years ago. You speak less and type more. Your mouth remains still while your thumbs get a real workout.

In the real world when we interact – in “real-time” conversation, facial expressions and body language – it’s authentic and even vulnerable, and our belief systems and real selves are revealed. In the digital world, we carefully craft our messages making sure just what we want revealed is written. And, we post only our best photos, those that have captured us in good moments or under the lights of a professional photographer. In the real world we are naked and our warts and wrinkles are not photoshopped out.

I’m not saying that we are becoming totally fake people. Just that we are losing much of our authentic selves in this wacky wired world. The more connected we are online the less connected we are to the real people in our lives, and ourselves.

Today, why not pick up the phone, knock on a door or start a conversation with the next person you see on the street? Get your face out of your phone and in front of a friend.

And for goodness sakes, give your thumbs a rest!

Just sayin’.

Rick Beneteau

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