Relationships In A Socially Connected World

In the New York Times recently there was an article titled, My Dinner With Clay Shirky, and What I Learned About Friendship which I highly recommend. The piece was essentially about an authors  dinner experience with noted writer, speaker, and internet ethnographer Clay Shirky. If you don’t know who Clay Shirky is, go to Amazon and read some excerpts from his two books Here Comes Everybody: The Power of Organizing Without Organization and Cognitive Surplus: Creativity and Generosity in a Connected Age.

The gist of the NY Times piece was that if we’re not careful we could spend so much time interacting with people on the Web that we could become a little socially deficient. Ironically, this week we held a social media tweetchat hosted by Jamie Sandford on how one cultivates relationships in a social world. The parallels were neat and not lost on me. On the one hand we had Shirky wanting us to take it offline and on the other, we had a group of people in a tweetchat talking about how to make online connections stronger with the eventuality that we do take them offline.

Complete and utter online social immersion can make us feel like we are so busy with our connections that don’t have time for the offline world. Just as quickly however, if we don’t take the time to balance the two or at least make the attempt to deepen our online relationships we can easily feel the false euphoric high of quantity give us the semblance of relationships. Yet the reality is the payoff rests in face to face interactions.  We spend so much time cultivating our numbers on various social platforms that we begin to think we have “a lot” of “friends”.

Our manufactured  social world allows to think we’re popular until we step out from behind the machine. The point? Even in a connected world, we have to make the effort to cultivate a virtual relationship into something greater than the sum total of the networks that we are part of.

Advertisements

Clay Shirky Get’s It

Clay Shirky, is someone who “get’s it” in a big way. Take 8 minutes to watch this.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “Interview Clay Shirky on Vimeo“, posted with vodpod

 

Traditional Media is afraid of Web 2.0

Jake McKee promised that this might be the most significant thing I see/read/watch this year. In a sense he’s right. I love when people make me think. Clay Shirky made me think. And what he says makes sense. You might have to watch it twice but what I take away from it and told Jake essentially the same thing, are three things. 1) traditional media is scared shitless about what is happening right now. Consumers with voices? And the ability to use them? 2) We all have a surplusof cognitive surplus and 3) The old, one voice marketing to many with traditional channels of one way communication are dying on the vine.