Friday, January 13, 2012

Get Personal

The past four days at my new job as a waver for Liberty Tax, I noticed that people crave attention and personal connections. When I wave, I make an effort to look each driver and each passenger in the eye, then make sure that they see that I see them. I use exaggerated movements, waving my hands in the air Kermit-style, opening my eyes extra-wide and grinning, pointing with both hands while flapping my wrists downward like I'm a rap star in a concert, anything to let the people going by know that I am connecting with each one of them and that I want each of them to have as much fun as I am having.

The response is immediate. People go from scowling, looking bored or looking sad to grinning and waving back. Some even honk when my back is turned to their part of the traffic while I wave at traffic going the other way, just to make sure that I wave at them.

Finding that personal connection is a lot harder online. Many writers fear offending someone, so they remove anything that could be misconstrued or that might reflect badly with people from a particular mindset, but I think that is a huge mistake. When I read someone's stuff, I want to see that person, not a marshmallow version designed to avoid offense.

That does not mean that I want to see someone doing nothing but cussing, complaining and slinging their latest arrows into whatever target their righteous indignation has created today, though. One-trick ponies, demagogues and complainers suck the beauty out of life. We each have ups and downs, but posting every single down without ever acknowledging how wonderful it is to be alive gets old really fast.

Let me see you when I read your blog, your Facebook posts, Twitter feeds, Stumbles and Diggs, and I will let you see me.

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