Social networking, why are people drawn to it? This is a question that I have asked myself this day.
So with a little soul searching and a little chatting with others both online and in person, add in reading of blogs and such, I have found an answer for me, to this question.
When I asked others this question, there was a standard in their response. To connect and then they would state what connection they were searching for. Community, like minds, family, the world, but it all started with the words, “to connect”.
We humans are herd animals. We gather in numbers in the past as bands, tribes, villages to form great cities. The great cities part is where I do believe we went a bit too far.
In smaller communities such as bands and tribes, and yes villages, everyone depends on someone else for survival. I believe this interdependence breeds acceptance, understanding, and simple manners but of course that is a personal opinion.
With the coming of modern times, came the death of the small villages. Bands are considered cults or weirdoes, and tribes are something people use as a connection to their ancestry instead of a living thing, so the interdependence is lost. Even family’s in these modern times have become something that is transitional in most cases.
So the art of connection is almost lost. But the need for it still remains in most of the human species. So we flock to Social Networks in search of it.
But the fear of closeness, of interdependency that has been bred into the human species this past one hundred years or so inhibits us to the point that though we need these connections, we fear them as much if not more than we need them. So we invented Social Networks, where people can connect in an invisible way, so they feel safe, there is no fear of interdependency.
But I wonder, is it truly connection without dependency or is it just another Band-Aid for a problem that either people do not wish to confront or simply have such a great fear of real, in person connections can use as a crutch to ease this need of connection?
That last part of that sentence brought to mind those hateful, over baring individuals that want control you find on Social Networks. I personally think they act out against others out of fear of dependency of any form. When I think about it, it actually makes me sad for those people, but that doesn’t mean I will bend to their aggressions and rudeness. But to let your fear of in person connection control you must be a horrible thing to have to live with. Fear in any form is a horrible thing, but fear that isolates you from the very thing you want, need must become almost unbearable. It is indeed a sad thing to have such fear.
A little experiment, to make actual in person connections to the few individuals you find on a social network as enjoyable. To accept them as actual in person friends, not just some avatar you chat with online. But real people, with real needs and wants and fears just as you have. Maybe then the make believe, invisible connection that Social Networks provide can bloom into real connections and some of the fear bred into us will disappear.