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Monday, August 08, 2011

Relationship through Technology - Connecting

There are different social spaces and corresponding relationships (I've mentioned this before).

  1. Public - Anonymous to surface-level relationships. Large personal bubble. Crowd sized group.
  2. Social - Surface-level to friendship relationships. Smaller personal bubble. Some sharing conversation. 15-50 group
  3. Personal - Friends to good-friends. Smallest personal bubble. Deep conversation. 3-12 group.
  4. Intimate - Closest friends and spouse. No personal bubble. Deep sharing. 1 or 2 people besides you in the group.
Strangers are in the public space. Acquaintances are in the social space, friends are in the personal space and family is in the intimate space. As you meet people and develop a relationship with them, you move from one space to the next. Strangers become acquaintances and move from public to social space. The deeper the relationship, the smaller the relational space. So, if you're wanting to become closer friends with people, you need to manage the spaces in which you interact with them. 

I know this can sound like it's not natural, if you're calculating the growth of the relationship it seems fake somehow. But, think about dating. If you're like me, you calculated the dating encounters. I remember seeing Andrea (my wife) across the campus when we were just starting school. I liked her, but she was a stranger. Then we both happened to attend an ice cream social (social space) where I made it a point to introduce myself and talk to her. Things went well, so I asked her out on a date (personal space). It's a natural thing to work on moving relationships from one space to the next, but we aren't quite sure how to fit the space of the internet into the equation. 

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