[Image credit: Salvatore Vuono]

For this week I penciled a handful of social-networking events into my planner.  From a writing workshop, to a moonlit hike in the mountains with other outdoor enthusiasts, to a Homeowners Association meeting (my first as an official officer), to an open house at a medical facility, I’m taking social-networking to a whole new level: off the Internet and face-to-face.  Of course, technology still provides a legitimate and convenient outlet to maintain contact with out-of-town family and friends by providing a virtual connection.  But for those relationships we’re able to invest in up-close-and-personal, I suggest turning off the ringers and alarms and focusing on the people we surround ourselves with regularly. Try making new memories which don’t include Facebook pokes or cryptic text messages telling your daughter it’s time to clean her bathroom or that she’s beautiful.  Give her a hug and say it in person.  Or pull up a chair and invite your husband or your girlfriend to play a favorite board game.  I think the biggest benefit of social-networking the old-fashioned way is how it encourages us to start a dialogue, possibly resulting in learning something new about the virtual strangers we live with.  Because 4G can never replace face-to-face.   

What one rule do you have when it comes to the dos and don’ts of social-networking?