Find us on Google+

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Facebook as a Relational Space

Most of us have a pretty good handle on how relationships work in real life. But the etiquette on Facebook is different. You need to be on Facebook, but you need to do it well.

You need to decide why you're on Facebook, or any social media site. Do you want to promote your project, play games or share what you had for dinner? The option is yours, but you have to know that some approaches are better than others when it comes to building relationships.

Think about how you build relationships in real life - Facebook and the rest of the internet aren't so different. It's a dance of vulnerability. Each person offers a bit of vulnerability and, if they receive kindness in return, then more vulnerability. If, however, the vulnerability meets with rejection, derision or apathy, the relationship will shut down.

If you are rejecting people, making fun of them, ignoring them or doing anything that would be rude in real life, that will destroy vulnerability and kill a relationship online. With tools like Facebook the problem is exacerbated since everyone can see your interactions, so if you make fun of someone for expressing their opinion on something, then everyone who sees that interaction will become slightly less vulnerable to you.

But wait! What about humor? Yes, humor has a place, and a formula. I'll pick up that thread tomorrow.

For now, how are you vulnerable online? How could you foster more vulnerability?

No comments: