During the last three years, I’ve had multiple occasions to establish “digital relationships”.
Sure, I’ve been on social media for many years, but the relationships there are based on getting to know the person elsewhere. The social networks were there to ease staying in contact. They helped keep relationships alive which otherwise would have long since disappeared. Some of them as interests shift, others as people move and yet others because we are living far apart.
I’ve been lucky to meet and work with people from every continent. It made learning an even richer experience. And it continues to contribute to my ability to stay connected to a diversity of ideas and ways to see the world which would not be possible otherwise.
It’s a way I can contribute to being a global citizen who sees individuality and diversity on a global scale. With the fascination of learning how diversity came to exist. And from my point of view also has to continue to exist.
But it is also the quest to understand what we need to be able to adapt to a global world that is coming closer and closer. A world which, to me, requires our flexibility to see the differences and welcome them. Certainly not to adapt to all of them.
It’s also fragmenting our relationships as we find ourselves connecting with others on more and more specific tasks or subjects. We meet for specific reasons and rarely expand the relationship beyond that reason.
Which may be making the relationship as such poorer. We stay within the secure frame of that one reason to meet and miss out on all the other parts of the other. What it does, is transforming our ability to experience and lead offline relationships. The ones allowing us to be present with one another as well as the ones requiring us to show the whole person instead of the one linked to the task.
By exploring the global world we forget to explore the richness of the other person’s world. Making relationships less personal. The more we allow ourselves to fragment the groups and the relationships we live in, the better we need to become at building relationships.