Networking and connecting – generation gap?

Attended a session yesterday about Self leadership and how it needs to be defined differently for women. The module covered was about networking and its relevance to becoming a good leader – we spoke about how and why we women lack networking skills and don’t pay enough attention to building our networks (unlike the men) and are also poor at maintaining the contacts that we build, owing to several reasons – paucity of time being the most common. Also an interesting thought was thrown up – the networks that men build are broader and far reaching but the networks that we women build, though narrow, are much deeper. This because we women generally tend to connect to the people we network with – more at an emotional level, where as for the men, the term network holds a more business-like connotation. I found that to be a very stimulating inference and leave you to mull over it.

That apart, while at my parents’ place for the weekend, I noticed how totally connected my sis is with her friends. She literally uses the phone a lot – calling, texting messages, to friends whom she’s in touch with – some from school, others from college and then graduation to her work-mates. I’m sure, by the end of Saturday all of them were informed that I was home for the weekend! 😀 I couldn’t help but ask her – what is it that you have so much to talk about and share – almost every day, while it was never this way with me and friends. She retorted saying –that’s because in your college days, you didn’t have mobile phones and now when you do have them, all of you are married and busy with your own lives (so true, eh?) My dad, never the one to miss an opportunity to use his wise-cracks, said – that precisely should be the reason why they should be calling and connecting more often, while you, who still have the time to catch up and meet friends more regularly should use it a lot less. Well, you see, the fact that she’s on the phone most times is a major pain point with my dad! 😀

I have also noticed this with my younger colleagues at work – their phones ring so much more and most often it’s friends calling them and discussing plans or events. They share gossip and tid-bits about their other common friends or batch mates, make plans for weekend outings or meet-ups, discuss family events, bitch about their managers (I’m sure!) and generally talk a lot. This is not an infrequent occurrence, but happens every other day.

All this has me wondering – is this a generation thingy? Does my generation from the early 80s lack in networking skills? Have we already become like dinosaurs in this fast evolving networked world where everyone knows everyone else and is up to date with the latest happenings in each other’s lives? I have difficulty keeping in touch with a handful of my friends and many times the effort has to be from my side to call/ mail them. The times we call each other have dwindled down to once in 2-3 months and meeting-up is a non-option most of the times – we cannot seem to synchronize our calendars!

Well what do you think? Other people from my generation please tell me it’s not just me who feels this way!!

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2 thoughts on “Networking and connecting – generation gap?

  1. Oh, yes..am from that exact generation ( early 80’s) and nod in agreement. Has been the case with me!

    But, definitely feel that it is upto the individual and her skills to maintain relationships. I know a lot form my school/college who are still very much connected to the rest of the gang. May be it’s just some of us then.

    Thanks to the popular networking sites..I have got back in contact with pals forgotten or dropped along the way 🙂

    Again, it comes back to how well I maintain the contact and keep updated. Sigh!

    yeah, I suppose it does depend on the individuals… for e.g. the guys do remain much well connected as compared to us girls…the hubby for instance is in touch with nearly half of his high school classmates! But you know, it takes two hands to clap… the effort has got to be made from the other side as well and that is my favourite grouse almost always! 😦

  2. I don’t think its a generation thing.
    For instance my father is in touch with MOST of his college/school buddies. And hes from the 70s. It just depends on the person and how much you want to stay connected with your school and college friends. Like I am in touch with almost all my friends from my school days. Right from nursery, till the time I left india…and now eleven years abroad and I’m still in touch with them. Facebook and Orkut happened only recently. So it was mostly letters and emails. But we stayed in touch all these years.

    Also yes, it has to be a two sided thing. That I agree with.

    wow! that is quite an achievement! I know, I’ve tried pretty hard myself to be in touch atleast with my close friends… and even now we are a bunch of 5-6 girls who do make it a point to not lost contact… but sometime the one-sided effort just gets to me! I’ve seen that not everyone seems to put in the same kinda effort… the promises are always there, but action is lacking

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