Tuesday, August 3, 2010
communities, networks, links,
An African proverb tells us, “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” Nancy White distinguishes between the network, a collection of people who link in meaningful ways, but retain a focus on the needs and benfit to the self, and the community where people surrender something of the self in order for the greater good to benefit.What sits between is always something of a dilemma. The identity issues around Social Networking sites and the theft of identities through unsafe levels of disclosure are probably where much of the tension in being involved with those sites will sit.
I have recently happened on Melinda Blau's blog in which she explores the idea that we live in a lonely society and we have encounters with people who seem incosequential to us, but for various sets of human social needs, are in practice consequential. Some of these will be strangers we pay for services (eg. massage therapists, clinical supervisors)others those that have regular role or proximity space in our lives. Further she suggests that we need to seek out these opeople and build ourself a cirlce of consequential strangers. I find her ideas compelling and think it helps explain the popularity of social networking sites.