Reaching out to meet new people can be challenging even in normal times. Today, the hurdles are greater. Technology and other factors have lessened our face to face social contacts.

The irony of todays life is the value gained by short interactions with people is snuffed out by the aversion to strangers. David Sax just wrote about this in the opinion section of The NY Times entitled “Why Strangers are so Good for Us.”

COVID, CRIME, POLITICAL DIVISIONS and many more things have deepened the inclination to avoid personal contact with others, let alone strangers. Technology is also a culprit, making it possible to go through an entire day without interfacing with another human being. Examples abound from the fast food kiosk to being able to silence the Uber driver by hitting the no interaction button. It all causes us to withdraw and interact less. 

There are many social costs to all this. A certain loss of the richness of life, as David Sax describes it. On the business side, the costs may be even larger. You often can learn more about a new place or business situation by striking up a conversation for a few minutes than spending an entire day of research on the web. 

Learning to reach out is an art form. Risking to do so can open new possibilities, knowledge and opportunity. Shortening the path to success in surprising ways…