Graduation and Social Networks

I still ask myself everyday why I’m starting this blog. Yea, it’s for the reasons I’ve already listed, but looking deeper, I realize that it’s really for the community, for the social network. But a different kind of social network. Facebook-ish but more anonymous. Transient yet permanent. Explicitly NOT the same kind of face-to-face social network of my daily life. It’s important to know that I love my friends; I love the late night runs to Krispy Kreme and the long conversations about life. My friends give a lot of support and meaning to my life. So why exactly is this online community so appealing?

LOSING YOUR SOCIAL NETWORK

We were all forced into social networks at a young age – school being the primary one. Middle school, then high school, then maybe college. We were surrounded by our peers without any real effort to meet new and interesting people – without any real effort to create a social network. Then comes that last graduation. High school…or college…or grad school. Whenever it is, it comes for everyone. Today, we are the class of 2012. Tomorrow, POOF! Instant friend dispersal. Behind the anticipation and excitement  of my coming graduation I find myself concerned about losing my social network. Losing it in the face-to-face, deeply meaningful kind of way. Yea, Facebook’ll keep me updated on who’s had a bad day…or got married…or likes the new Batman flick. Though, I won’t care as much, as I’ll probably just continue skimming my feed for the juicy stuff like I do day in and day out. So, I’ll be trading one kind of social network for another that is, in many ways, inferior.

Nevertheless, I’m starting DownSplash to join this online social network. It does have its advantages. For example, while ever-changing and semi-anonymous in nature, the loosely defined ‘online community’ does seem like it will always be there. And it’s filled with creative, inspired, dedicated, slightly neurotic people – just the kind that I look for in my “real” life. We’ll probably never share a pizza or go bowling together, but we may exchange some powerful ideas. We may help each other realize our true potentials in ways that our “real” friends cannot – in an augmented reality kind of way. In the world of 2012 I think our real and digital realms are merging and that living in both could be quite fulfilling.

So, in the final analysis I may lose a large part of my face-to-face social network in May, but I do plan on making some new friends of a different kind. The kind that are just a click away. Beam me up, Scotty because we have arrived!

One Response to Graduation and Social Networks
  1. Lolabees Reply

    I always felt mixed about graduation– ready to go, but not wanting to leave. I just posted a little bit about my time in D-school and one of the best parts was the instant friends. It does change, but somehow, I think you’ll evolve with it and you won’t have any problems making new instant friends.

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