***** To join INSNA, visit http://www.insna.org *****
Spot on as usual, danah.
Of course, there are those of us in the #7 category, who work almost
entirely virtually and really do build strong relationships with people we
But one point you made particularly struck me:
> Don't blame the technology - it's filling a gap, but it didn't create
> the gap. The key question should be: what is up with that gap and how
> do we fix it?
See, I think it's a perfectly natural evolution.
For example, while we do cherish the familiar, we also relish in variety. So
no matter HOW great the people you work with are, they're not necessarily
the only people you want to have social interaction with 40+ hours a week.
The fact that you want some brief virtual social interaction with someone
you feel connected to across town, across the country or across the globe
doesn't mean there's anything wrong with the people or the relationships you
have at work.
And is it more satisfying to go meet with the two other people in your town
who share your passion for some obscure topic, or to go online and connect
with thousands of others around the world. Do you want to belong, or be
constantly reminded of just how much you really don't belong?
And how about the simple fact that someone across the world who's willing to
share their perspective on, say, the state of Russian democracy, is far more
interesting than your drunk next door neighbor bitching about their job?
While I'm sure the vast majority of us would be happier working fewer hours,
taking more vacations, and having our young men and women at home instead of
stuck in an impossible situation, I don't think changing those things would
"fix" that gap that is filled by virtual interaction, because I don't think
the virtual interaction is a sign of something being broken. Fix those
things, and we'll just choose new topics.
SOCNET is a service of INSNA, the professional association for social
network researchers (http://www.insna.org). To unsubscribe, send
an email message to [log in to unmask] containing the line
UNSUBSCRIBE SOCNET in the body of the message.