TED Conversations

Linda Hamilton

Director and Developer, www.thanknest.com

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Is it possible for us to use social networking, that which makes us feel so disconnected, to reconnect again?

I recently watched a TedTalk by Professor Sherry Turkle who discussed the ways in which technology is making us feel more and more disconnected. Professor Turkle suggested a way to combat this was through having more real life conversations. But how do we compel people to want to have real life conversations, over the desire to feel connected (or disconnected as it seems) using technology?

What if social networking allowed us to feel truly valued again?

I recently developed a website - http://www.thanknest.com - and since launching I have found that when people are appreciated with a sincere and specific thank you message, this compels them to want to reconnect in real life with the person who is thanking them. They say "let's get together", "let's catch up", and "let's get coffee". When you thank someone and tell them what you like about them, you make them feel good about themselves. People want to have more meaningful bonds with others, and want to spend more real-life time with people who make them feel good, & with people who truly value them.

Is it possible for us to use social networking, that which makes us feel so disconnected, to reconnect again?


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    Sep 11 2012: Social networks are a good meeting point for people. But a relationship or relationships can not blossom to its full potential if people do not take a step further by setting up a meeting and getting to know each other one-on-one.
    Social networks are prone to so much pretending and hypocrisy; and someone presenting himself or herself as a human right activist or a lover of pets may be a fraudster. So, even setting up a meeting should be done with caution.

    But if there are people who are sincere and are of like minds they can meet on social networks and take their relationship to the next level. Thinking good relationships can be built and maintained on social networks alone is like thinking that superman, Batman or Megamind have great powers as in the movies.
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      Sep 12 2012: Thank you for sharing Feyisayo. Yes, human contact is so iimportant... this is, as you say, because social networks are prone to pretending or presenting your ideal self! We have the time online to read something, think about what to say, & then write it in some cases better (& more succinctly) than we would probably say it.

      Meeting in real life determines whether a relationship can go to the next level... are they in real life who they claim to be online? If yes, then a wonderful relationship can follow.

      Good relationships can be built & maintained online - but great relationships are fostered through real life interaction.

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