I’ve just written a post over at Fuel Your Blogging about some tools for digging into your social networking relationships. In that post, I talk briefly about how I believe we’re in the adolescence period of the internet. We’re still focused on the “cool” factor of the tools we use, but some of the tools available now are helping us to discover deeper relationships with people.
I agree with my friend Tony Ferraro that ultimately, people have a universal need to be deeply known. The advent of the social web (think Facebook and Twitter) is the result of this need to take what was formerly referred to as the “information superhighway” and turning into a place to connect.
Social networking, as a relational tool, gets a bad wrap. There is the assumption that relationships formed on the web are naturally shallow. Granted, it’s quite possible for us to remain both anonymous and shallow from behind a computer screen. But this doesn’t negate the fact that the social web is a relational tool that is being woven more and more into the fabric of who we are and how we live each day.
I will attest that social networks have brought me closer to people, put in contact with people I would not have otherwise known, and opened up channels of communication that never existed before. Obviously you don’t form a deep relationship with anybody by “tweeting.” But… maybe a tweet is just the point of introduction to a friendship, a partnership, or something deeper?