Sincerity and Social Networks

One this that fascinates me about the social network is the difference between the two kinds- the in person and online.

In person social networks are what we basically consider as relationships. Joe who lives down the hall is my friend. Patty down the street is my neighbor. Taylor is on the tennis team with me. These people are friends or acquaintances that we use for pleasure or for some mutual goal. If we’re friends, I enjoy spending time with them and hearing about their lives. If we’re just acquaintances we happily coexist. It’s generally easy to tell how each feels about the other, and who everyone values.

The online social networks are completely different. Yes, generally we friend and follow the people we like online, but a lot of the times, we find ourselves friending people we don’t know or following people we don’t like. In real life, we get the benefit of seeing how that person responds to us, but online we’ll never know. We don’t know if that “:)” means they’re actually smiling or if they say “I’m sorry” they actually are. This miscommunication is a breeding ground for tension and problems because friends and strangers alike.

There’s a certain kind  of sincerity that comes with a real life relationship that you just won’t get online.