Thursday, February 11, 2010

Virtual friends in 2010. The distance is so much bigger but the format is the same.

The world seems so exhibitionistic these days. I like privacy and intimicy. To be honest I'm not impressed by Facebook, MySpace and other friends-from-friends internetsites. I like to follow a few friends on MySpace. Look at their pictures and lurk a bit on their public "communication" but I don't feel the need to read, listen (and smell, taste and touch in the future?) to their friends and friends-friends. Why should I? For me all this is leisure time. I don't have to sell my business.

What do I want? I just want to have a few friends. Better a few friends I know very well than have 1.000 "friends" or "followers" I only know shallow. I like to know what my friends read, how their job is, what they dream and where they travel to. I like to share pictures. Share only in private. Why do people share so much of themselves? Why so exhibitionistic? Does "it" work better? What is "it"? Better for gaining new friends? Better for challenging life? Is hidden underneath it: the need to be in control of one's life and of their friends lives? If yes, why the need to be in control?

Why do people have the need to have more than 50 friends? Are they seeking for affirmation or love? Does it boost one's ego? Desmond Morris tells in his book 'The Naked Ape' (1967) that our human behaviour is largely evolved to meet the challenges of prehistoric life as hunter-gatherers who lived in groups from 40-60 people to survive. This “40-60 people group” concept is according to Morris still alive. It's something I always recognize in my personal life. I stick to my 50 friends. It keeps my timeline in Twitter quiet.

Virtual friends in 2010. For me it still feels strange to be a friend to another human being on the other side of planet Earth. People who I never saw in real life and probably never will see in real life. It's distant, virtual and digital but at the same time we have to invest in our distant friends too. Listen to them. Talk to them. Give them attention. Give them affirmation. Be honest. The distance is so much bigger but the format is the same.

1 comment:

  1. jean, i have more than 50 'friends' on twitter, facebook, buzz. btw, only on facebook are they labeled 'friends'. i simply 'follow' them, they follow m, i.e. i read their stuff (sometimes, not always), they read mine (maybe, surely not all the time). 'follower' is also not a very good, exact word, maybe 'reader' would be better -- but hey, these are only words. labels, conventions...
    you were/are among the beyond 50. so, without what you describe here, i would not be reading this, and your other good posts here, and would not be writing this and other comments to other good posts of yours to you...
    and that i would regret.