And this is really less about social media and more about the people who do or do not use it.
I really don't know if anyone else can relate to this but I sometimes catch myself thinking about the various groups of people that are in my life. And even though the sum total of these people is quite large, there is very little overlap between groups, but within each group everyone seems to be connected with everyone else.
For example the bloggers that I follow and communicate with during the online Twitter chat session known as #blogchat all seem to "know" each other (even though very few of us have met face to face). And although I recognize most of them during the flurry of tweets that go out during that time frame, I can only think of just a few bloggers that I could tell you what their "Twitter Handle" was or any specific detail about them. @MackCollier is from Alabama and created #blogchat, @patricksplace is from Charleston SC (so we are both from the Palmetto State), @mqtodd lives in Japan and his profile picture has green hair (sad that's my impression of him, I'm sure he is exceptional at what he does, but I can't get past the wig), and @dashingly is an "unprofessional mommy blogger" (her description, not mine). No, I didn't go back and look before writing this (I did however go back and verify after writing it).
Similarly, my "day job" is working with local interior designers, but I have connected with several designers from around the country through Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter but very few of my "real world" designers are active in these social media channels (there are a couple on Facebook) and with the exception of one or two, none of these "online" connections are involved in blogging so those spheres do not overlap for the most part.
I guess that all of this is somewhat normal when you live in a moderately sized city and have access to an unlimited number of friends, fans, followers, and online connections thanks to sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+.
I know that the pundits and talking heads out there try to blame vehicles like social media for creating a "disconnect" in society.
If anything, I would say it is just the opposite.
Of the people I am connected to in real life and online, I think we have a stronger friendship because social media makes it easier to "be sociable."
Of the people I am connected to strictly online having never met face to face or spoken to voice to voice... I can only hope that I have been a blessing to them (or at the very least I hope that I have not become "that guy that is always looking for advice").
I know that by and large I have benefited greatly from some of these connections. I have learned things about Search Engine Optimization, Blogging Best Practices, and Marketing just to name a few. All of these were areas I was previously ignorant in.
And of these strictly online connections, I would enjoy the opportunity to meet some of these people, whether at a coffee shop, or a weekend conference. Especially people like @melissagalt (an interior designer & business/marketing coach), @RichardBranson (the multigazillionaire and really cool dude), as well as Aaron Biebert aka @8pmWarrior (although I have no desire to travel to Milwaukee, Wisconsin - sorry Aaron, come down south were it's warmer).
Social media may or may not be a passing fad, but if you use it properly it can expand your knowledge of topics by being able to connect to experts in those fields that only a few short years ago would have been inaccessible. It can also create or strengthen offline relationships as well.