Has social networking changed the way we perceive and pursue relations?
Let me tell you a story. I had a facebook friend. We knew each from a professional gathering. One fine day I found that the person has unfriended me. It was OK for me. So I wrote a short message trying to connect back. This message was ‘seen’ but not responded. Again, I thought it was OK. Later I found that I have been blocked, from this person’s facebook and linkedin accounts! Reason? No clue. We never met or spoke or had any disagreement over anything! This got me thinking. Have we changed our approach of creating and nurturing connections in past few years?
One reason I think there is a paradigm shift in the way people curate relationships is the amount of exposure to the thought about ‘friendliness’. The more I wish to see myself in the network, higher is the risk of feeling left out. Overexposure to this sort of network effect has perhaps affected our ability to tolerate idiosyncrasies of those whom we call ‘friends’. Going back to that small real life example, how do you think this person should have reacted to something that was not as per his or her ‘expectation’? Well, in good old days of SMSs a small text describing one’s state of mind about the issue would often work as a clarification. Experience will tell you that there is a dramatic change in methods adopted by men and women across the world for resolving problems arising out of judgement about other people’s thinking.
This and more is happening all around us. Yes, we can and we will move on but how far can we go without recognizing the fact that we all are sailing in the same boat. ‘You’ are not different from ‘me’. You are an extension of me. ‘They’ are made out of ‘us’. ‘Friends’ may join and depart but this beautiful human mind thrives on social need for being together. Let us all understand this and respect differences among ourselves.