We always search for strong connections, but I am fascinated with the sociological need to be surrounded by those you don’t necessarily want to share a strong or long term connection with. But, at the same time, you still feel compelled to be around these people; being social without socializing. An empty dining hall seems stale, a crowded one seems more inviting, and one is more favorable over the over without having the intent to interact with any one individually. Maybe it is because you know you are all there for the same purpose as you that draws us to those situations . Is that enough to feel connected, be intrigued, be involved? How can that be productized?
To date, the majority of what we see as or interaction trails are signified by actions around our usage of some “thing”. An action is usually meaningful on it’s own, like friending, commenting, sharing, or liking. But just the other day I sat by myself in a crowded jazz lounge by myself and although I did not make any meaningful conversation with those around me, I still felt like I did *something*, that I was involved. And without a single action. Why do those feelings exist, and how does that transfer to the online product world?
Well, I guess it feels most like I left a trail of existence, that others can share with me, behind. I am allowing myself to be observed and observing others around me that share a similar interest. Our trails intersect and interact even when we don’t. So why can’t this trails be used to provoke action instead of focusing on having specific interactions provoking observations? My trail is left behind, the fact that I was interested, observed, and left, has a signifocance that the online world can benefit from. As new trails are created, other trails are attached. I displayed the fact that I observed something of interest to me in a group setting by being there, and I allow others to observe that fact. I allow them make a decision to attach themselves on to that trail, or create a trail similar to mine (or vice versa.) I left behind something, whether I did something of any real significance with my interactions or not.
I am most intreuiged by the phenomenon that surround these facts of social nehavoir. Socially non-social, strongly connected without heavy interaction, high emotional social gains without longterm commitments. These are some under appreciated parts of our everyday life as social beings. These situations need to be represented with more attention in our online world.
One thought on “Socially Non-Social”
Basically, actions are like shouting in a lounge. Why can’t there be a more passive system that allows others to attach or “follow” themselves to one another without the need for our standard “look at me I’m here!” paradigm.
If privacy is an issue, then I go back to some original principles of Socialize: who cares *who* you are…follow your interests. If a person named Jake reads read write web, giga om and tech crunch and a person named Jane read Motley Fool and Bachelorette which would you more want to follow…..now switch the names. A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.
Thus trails are a way for the other 90% of users to generate engagements, virality and interaction. It is the link that allows interests to be more than just about actions and shouts in a room through comments, and allows our digital selves to leverage our digital world through impulse, similarities, patterns and usage.