Archive for the 'social network' Category

23
Jun
14

depend on it, not me

depend on it not meAre we more dependent on things than on people?

Our society is becoming more and more dependent on things: computers, cell phones, cars, starbucks etc.  However, if one does not have all of those things, does that mean they are not part of society?  Are we excluding humanity in exchange for access to material goods?  Technology is not necessarily a bad thing, but when it is only available to a certain group of people, it no longer connects but divides us.

This morning I heard a story about a homeless family who were living in the woods in a camper and some tents.  They did not have running water or electricity, besides that which the camper provided.  The family managed together until the threat of winter approached.  The administrators of the school which the children attended had concerns and didn’t realize “how bad things were” until they visited their camp site.  A principal said with great emotion that she was so moved by how happy the family seemed to be despite their living conditions.  In response to this, the school took action and the community rallied around the family, eventually providing enough money to secure a home.

Great story, right?  It is always heartwarming to hear about the power of compassion, generosity and community.  But this story made me question the societal norm of the American dream.  Frankly, I admired the family for being so resourceful.  I mean, when’s the last time that we had to make it out in “the wild” without the luxuries of running water and electricity, let alone our cell phones or laptops?  Please don’t hear what I’m not saying.  I’m not saying that homelessness is not a serious issue and problem which our society needs to address.  However, the irony is that a large population of the world lives without running water and electricity all of their lives.  It is their way of life.  However, in American culture, this is quite unheard of and looked down upon.  Not having these things may even be considered irresponsible and separates/classifies us.

I suppose I’m just asking if the way of life which the American media is selling us is best for humanity or for technological advancement?  We think they go hand in hand, but are we leading ourselves into a trap in which we become so dependent on technology that we don’t know how to relate or live without it?  This family not only lived without and admitted that they became even closer because they were forced to interact and work together.  Seems like a side effect which we could all benefit from.  Why do we need to have things to connect us?  If we’re communicating so much more, than why do we seem more dependent on the things themselves than on each other?

 

 

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18
Apr
14

clean slate

clean slateHow does disrespecting someone build a relationship?

This was a question I was asking myself as I listened to someone tell a roomful of people that they don’t know anything about what they do.  For me, I immediately shut down, realizing that even if I should speak or try to have a discourse with them, they would not hear me.  The irony was that the purpose of the meeting was to learn about how to collaborate and build good working relationships.

Once I recognized that they just needed to feel like they had a voice and needed to be heard (not necessarily by me, but by what/who I represented-a wound from their past), I was able to let go and be silent.  However, does that give them the right to immediately through me into the same category as the other negative experiences they had?  And also disrespect me without even taking the time to get to know me?

All of this brings me back to the simple desire for us to be understood and empathize with one another.  Our world would be a much better place if we could all see things from more than one perspective.  How do we do this?  Listen.  But also share with respect and patience.  However, there are also times when one needs to be noisy and act with immediacy; this too needs to be done with respect and specificity.  Once we start throwing around generalities at a large majority, we will most likely not be heard.

So how can we share our wounds in a respectful way which does not negatively impact new and potential relationships?  How can we start each relationship with a clean slate?  We need to figure this out because our future depends on it.

09
Mar
14

the secret of success

the secret of successHow do you measure success?

Most of society seems to find the most value in numbers.  Quantity over quality seems to be the trend.  Countless products are created not to last so that in a few years consumers will need to buy a replacement.  “Doesn’t anything last anymore?”  I can hear my grandmother who lived through the Depression saying this as she uses the remnants of an egg to make a two bite custard.

So does that mean if there are not a lot of people in your life or who “show up” to support you that you have little value?  That your life is not successful?  It’s so easy to get caught up in comparing yourself to others and looking around to find yourself not so surrounded as you’d like.  When I made the move across the country from the east to west coast, the number of my friends quickly dwindled as the miles created more than just geographical distance.

It’s been difficult to build quality relationships.  I find it much easier to quickly count up the many acquaintances I’ve made over time.  However, when I consider how many of those would really be there for me in a crisis, I find my hands more or less empty.  What am I doing wrong?  Am I asking for too much from a relationship?  Is this the trend in relationships too – quantity over quality? 

I know myself enough to recognize that I get more satisfaction from a few quality relationships than a large number with less depth.  But there are times throughout my life that I can’t help but look at the numbers and feel as if I’m coming up short.  What I have to keep evaluating is how I define success; in every area of my life.  And perhaps success needs to be translated into fulfillment.  We all are fulfilled in different ways and some things are more important than others. 

How do you define success?  And where do you look for it?  Inside or outside yourself?

   

31
Jan
14

the unsocial network?

the unsocial netowrkWhat does it mean to be part of a social network?  I am still exploring this concept.

After having joined facebook many years ago after it shortly came out, I had a bad incident where someone posted some very inappropriate and offensive things.  This left a very bad taste in my mouth and caused me to avoid rejoining for many years.  As the trend in social networking has grown, I became more and more aware of the need to utilize this tool.  Many people with whom I needed to contact used facebook as their primary form of communication.  When did this happen?  I totally missed this social phenomenon which replaced mail, telephone and email.

Now, feeling very outdated with my lengthy emails and phone messages, I found myself surrounded with isolation.  So much was happening and the only way I could be part of it was through this new social network.  Once I decided to start this blog, I knew I would need to utilize this primary form of communication.  It’s difficult for me to keep up with everyone’s posts, but I want to find a way to “plug” into other people’s lives which is meaningful.

But what does it mean in our current society to be “social?”  For me, being social means not only having fun, but connecting with someone on a deeper level.  So is it possible to create and maintain meaningful relationships using social networks?  I’ve always been a one on one, in person kind of relationship builder.  Having my comments “out there” for everyone to see makes me a bit nervous because after all, there is no tone behind the words and I for one know the danger of misinterpreting someone’s written expression.  I think social networks have the capacity to be beautiful photo albums, depicting and sharing one’s life with others.  But because the book is open to so many people can anyone really be known and feel known?

Because so many people have converted to facebook as a primary networking tool, I want to take advantage of the opportunity by using it to encourage and cheer people on in their lives.  The blog is my way of sharing both my life’s passion and perspective, inviting others to respond and share theirs.  But I think in order to maximize the potential of this technology and use it for the benefit of society – not only can we connect with more people – we can use it with intentionality to grow closer one another and truly share this journey of life.