How to Harness the Real Power of Social across Screens
Humans are innately social beings. Almost everything we do is guided by our desire to connect with other people; social interactions are embedded in how we live, learn, work, and play. And many of the rules and conventions we live by are sanctioned by the threat of social ostracism—being cut off or shunned by the people around us.
When you think about modern society, our human connections are intricate webs that reflect the complexity of our contemporary lives within digital, virtual, immediate, and dispersed networks. In the past, social connections were relatively straightforward and typically defined by where people lived. The social nucleus was the family—mothers, fathers, children, grandparents, aunts, and uncles—who either lived together in the same cramped quarters or at least in the same town or village. In fact, in traditional cultures, this is still the norm. Neighbors and friends chatted over the fence, at church, and during community celebrations. Men (and it was typically men in those days) would forge social connections through their workplace. People created groups or associations based on hobbies, a shared sense of duty, or passion for a common cause; quilting bees, service organizations like the Elks and Masons, garden clubs, and women’s rights groups were the foundation of many of these social networks.
By the 1990s, there was a growing school of thought that people ...