These past few days I have been thinking about how social networking has been discussed and my experience of being with two groups of people.
On Saturday the church I belong to (Lutheran) holds a neighbourhood BBQ. Everyone comes together to put the food out, BBQ the burgers and hotdogs and serve whoever shows up. There were between 150 to 200 people served. (we are really too busy to actually count so we take the number of items BBQed and figure out how many had more than one hamburger). The location is kitty corner from Vancouver City Hall. It’s like a block party for a few hours. The variety of people that show up is unbelievable. The gamut ranges from people driving up in their Mercedes or BMWs to guys living at a shelter looking for work. The food is free but I can’t see that as being the big drawing card. Everyone had time to sit at one of the tables and converse with the people around them. They talked about everything from Elvis Presley to why the Canucks lost. It was people socializing around having something to eat. It was great to be a part of.
The next day another BBQ at home with friends and family. The conversation moved into who was on FaceBook and what they thought of it. Most began to wonder why they were being invited by people they had vague memories or associations with. One person said they hardly new this girl who was at her school but 3 years younger and couldn’t recall even talking to her. They all felt it was sort of neat but were a bit overwhelmed by the number of contacts they all maintained. We also talked about how men and women communicate and the number of words each gender tends to use. I will not comment on that discussion.
The point here is that human interaction is so unique and seems to be such a random type encounter at times. When you think you can understand how and why people react you suddenly realize you are farther from the answer than you thought. Maybe its the variety of individuals, maybe its the environment of the meeting, who knows — maybe it’s the weather. Social networking and the communcations around it are so varied. It seems that the face-to-face communcation brings people together that no other way can. It isn’t a process, it is being able ‘touch’ or connect with that person in some human way. Someone said the eyes are the windows to the soul. You can’t put those things into a box.