Virtual Relationships – Online Social Identity


The word “Virtual” means: computer-generated, online, imitation, make-believe, artificial.  I had never heard of the word until I became involved with internet marketing.

Considering the meaning of the word… does that mean that my online relationships are make-believe, artificial and imitation?  Hmmm…. so far, I haven’t had that experience.

However, I have to admit there are some “virtual” people I prefer over others… but that is no different than my feelings toward folks that I have a face to face relationships with.

I guess I do have a few rules when it comes to virtual relationships or online social identity.

1.  I want to see your face. I don’t like it when people post a gravatar of their dog, cat, a plain graphic or heaven knows what.  It doesn’t matter to me if you’re male or female, old or young, handsome or plain. When I can connect your name with your face… it helps me remember who you are when your name comes up in my e-mail… or in a sales letter.

2.  I like it when I can hear your voice.
I enjoy mastermind and coaching calls where I can hear your voice.  Your accent, or voice inflection helps me to see you as a real person.  It also helps me to understand you better if you’re not afraid to express your point of view.  I want to know what you stand for.

3.  I prefer dealing with people who are transparent.
If you’re accessible with an e-mail address, online support that really works, and an actual address where I can reach you… I feel I can trust you more.  I know if I have problems with your product… you’ll make it right.  When you’re honest with me… you’ll have my loyalty.

4.  I love it when I have personal contact with you. I enjoy talking with you on the phone… or better still… meet you in person.  There’s nothing like meeting someone face to face that you’ve have had a virtual relationship with.  At that point… there is nothing imitation or make believe.  Your demeanor and spirit will tell me exactly who you are or who you are not.

“Just Thinking”

Kathy Griffiths

P.S.   Leave me comment and let me know how “virtual relationships” are working for you.

Categories : Just Thinkin'


  1. I agree with every word you’ve written here!
    I need to do more with audio…I also like hearing one’s voice and maybe people who do business with me would like the same (hadn’t thought about that point).
    And I believe I am transparent, almost to a fault (is that possible?) 🙂
    Let’s blog on!

  2. Kathy,
    After reading your post I realise that I feel very much the same way. As I’m building a new blog from scratch this month – I’m going to take all the above on board, so I can be multi-dimensional and really relate to my visitors. Thank you for the reminder x

  3. Kathryn ~

    Jeanne took the words right out of my mouth! I’ll go right along with your thought process here.

    I’m at a point now where I simply will not accept a friend request on any social media site if the person does not have a photo uploaded. I’ll make an exception if someone has just created their account recently and hasn’t gotten to it yet but intends to get to it … soon.

    As far as transparency goes, people’s short profile blurbs are something that give me an instant clue as to whether this is someone I will resonate with or not. Some of the profiles I’ve come across indicate the person is the best thing since sliced bread and, on top of that, an expert in ten different fields. I think not! I don’t care for a lot of boasting.

    For sure, if someone has not posted a bio at all … I’m outta there!

    Good points,

  4. Rob Britt says:

    I am totally with you here. Point four can be a little tough (especially the “in person” part) but talking on the phone can really give you a sense of who a person is. I have a lot of videos on youtube and some on my sites, so that can give you some idea of who I am. Most of them are instructional stuff on making videos or wordpress, uploading sites, etc. youtube.com/rob1963

    And my pet peeve is people who don’t reveal themselves (as in a photo) or have contact information on their website. You can tell me all kinds of cool stuff about you, but if I can’t write you an e-mail, what am I supposed to do? You’d be surprised how many people don’t have contact info or have info that is outdated or mistyped. argh!
    : )
    have a great day

  5. Karen says:

    What they said! Until I met Connie Ragen Green, I didn’t realize I was semi-anonymous. Now when I go to a blog with no name or face attached, I feel the disconnect quite intensely. How interesting! You CAN teach an old dog… Wait up. There must be a better way to phrase this…

  6. Wow, very well said! It’s similar for most people that I know too! Many people I’ve been in business with recently are ‘virtual’ friends and have made contact via other ‘virtual connections’ as such.

    Plus hey, I met my now fiancée through the internet 8 years ago back in high school. So heck, I’m one big advocate that the internet is a wondrous place.

    Thanks for the read!


  7. I think we have to strike a balance between putting ourselves “out there” and yet protect yourself from the creeps, by not revealing too much of your personal info so that someone could stalk you. I, too, hesitate to connect up with someone who uses a photo of a celebrity for example instead of their own picture. It’s great to have virtual friends and I think your rules are well-stated!

  8. Hi Kathryn – thanks for retweeting my blog post. This 30 day challenge is going to be more fun than I thought. It will be a great way to grow our online relationships.

  9. joe says:

    Great post Kathryn, it is making me think a little more about my brand! Is that a name, a logo, a product? If you have the money it is just one, (Nike, Coca-cola, Buffett) and if you don’t I do believe that is all that and more.
    I always thought that integrity was what made the world go around and in a virtual relationship it seems that it does indeed and when you put it together with all of the points you added, it just makes it even more powerful.
    Question, though, what if you are just starting out, and want to make a good impression, do you dress the part, talk the talk, and walk the walk, even though you aren’t there yet? I think that is something many of us struggle with online. You really can’t fake it till you make it, not with any integrity, so what do you do? Just had to throw that in 🙂
    Very nice post, thanks.

  10. Great post! I use the techniques you desribe here and have found it to be just as you say. Only once in over 4 years have I met anyone in person that I did not connect with on a personal level. Other than that one incident, letting people hear me on teleseminars and webinars and see me at live events has helped me to build a business I am proud of.

  11. Lesa Antone says:

    Hi Kathryn, Thanks for reaffirming what I believe, which is to trust someone, I need to know that they are “real.” I look forward to checking out more of your information. This 30 day challenge really is awesome for discovering new people!!

  12. Hi Kathy,

    I agree that adding the things that hel us to connect to people in the real world are the same things that we look for in establishing ourselves in the virtual world. I think the addition of video of you on your site is an opportunity for others to connect with you in the virtual world. Video gives people a chance to see you as they would in real life and I think makes them feel more like they know you.

    I enjoyed your post and look forward to hearing more.
    All the best,

  13. […] our face to face relationship.  These points were mentioned in a recent blog post that I read by Kathryn  Griffiths, (a fellow 30 day challenge blogger) and I would like to bring them to your attention.  Kathryn […]