Sokunthea Chhabra

TED ;)


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In cities, being surrounded by strangers, social networking is what needs to help us connect with each other and create new people networks.

Discussion started by TED Live member, Kevin W. Borders: What's interesting thus far is the disconnect between the ideas of cities and the previous session about crowds. My experience in cities is being surrounded by many strangers. It seems to me that social networking needs to help us connect with each other and create new people networks. The talks thus far have been economic and technological.

What do you think?

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    Mar 1 2012: social networking is a way to create networks among people with common interests who live in the same city, town but also who live in different cities, towns and countries... of course, the face-to-face encounter remains invaluable.
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    Mar 10 2012: Interconnectedness is so valuable.

    The ideas I learn on TED I immediately spread around in my community of family and friends.

    And likewise, what is happening in my community, I share with those on TED

    I think balance is key.

    Sokunthea, I don't know of anyone personally that has bridged the social network with the people network.

    I think many treat it as two distinct groups. But I can see, like Aries Eroles points out, that if the social network you belong to on-line has activities outside the internet.....then that could definitely help create people network.

    I have seen alot of talk about this on TED. Nothing ever materializes. Many of us would probably enjoy attending a TED sponsored event, but I don't see that happening for most of us, do you?
  • Mar 8 2012: Agree! I mentioned in another conversation that Manhattan felt like one of the loneliness places on earth even though I was surrounded by millions of people. In my residential neighborhood the only people that know each other are dog owners and parents of young children who go to the park. Put away your smartphones and get a dog! My personal experience with is very effective at bringing like-minded people together. Sports to Arts it works well.
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    Mar 1 2012: I concur with both Paola and Michael that interacting with others in our community face to face by building the sorts of natural crossroads that bring people together remains a vital component of a thriving and engaging city. Cities are safer and their economies and cultural life are more vital if online relationships supplement rather than displace social and economic exchanges in the neighborhoods, in the community centers and plazas, in the coffee houses and parks.
    In a city of any size there will always be strangers, but the ideal, I think, is when people in the city look out for each other even when they are strangers- when adults keep an eye out for children, when young people jump in to help an elderly person who dropped her grocery bag whether he knows her or not, when people who don't know each other come together in an amphitheater for a rally, and so forth. Many relationships and social arrangements can be facilitated by modern communication technologies, but again ideally people should be able to integrate into city life even without ownership of smart phones, facebook, and a twitter account.
  • Mar 12 2012: Some of the places where virtual networks and human networks meet are hackerspaces. They meet also naturally when people augment their real life networks online. (tweet: lunch is ready!) They materialize in flashmobs.... or other events, like political demonstrations that regard online issues. Couch-surfing mingles the two as well, or hitchhiking websites.

    What about loneliness in cities? Can virtual networks help?

    What if people could just take a picture and scan our biometrical data, make a search and get a profile, wouldn't we be strangers anymore? I guess we would be strangers just the same, mingle less with people we find odd and be more vulnerable.

    What did help me so far to connect with other where basically two things: places and existing human networks. By looking where do people meet who do things i met people with the same interest. By following people i found new places.

    What makes it difficult to join virtual and real networks is that virtual networks tend to be more global. So i guess the most important thing to join virtual and real would be to find a point in spacetime to meet. There is for instance one virtual network that does just right that for language learners, where people sign in virtually to find people in the same region to speak with them in real life. Of course it is local, and not global.

    So virtual networks can help.

    Sometimes though the strange people at the bus-stop can help more. Just because they are at the same place.

    So when it is not possible to transport people from the virtual realm to the same neighborhood it is good to get to know people who surround us... by joining or creating a local exchange trading system (LETS) or by talking to the people from next door (floor) and maybe adding them to a virtual network. (Hi neighbors! Can someone help me with a cup of flour?) Or in an big building go low tech billboard.
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    Mar 10 2012: Strangers are just friends that we ain't met yet. I think of networks in terms of friends, business, common interests, etc, each serves a different purpose. I still need personal social interaction that the computer does not provide. All the best. Bob
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    Mar 10 2012: I think that social networking is a very good avenue to interact and talk and socialize in an environment of strangers. I have a very nice experience with this. I have been a member of social site "Good Reads" - a site for authors and readers to interact. In our group, because the site allows creating a group like in Facebook, we extend more than online interaction and be a real book club doing book club discussions and other gatherings. It's nice to think that I'm perfectly stranger to them and them to me, yet we have great bonding when we meet online and real. Last month, we just did our outreach program to an orphan home in Makati City. We gave around 300 books.
    • Mar 11 2012: Aries, Great idea! I have been a avid reader all my life. I am going to join "Good Reads" and participate. When I die I want to have a book in my hands, HA HA Thanks,
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    Mar 10 2012: I'm open to talk i just want to ask you all your insight about tomorrow and what we can do to make a lasting change? open dialogue is good so lets put it to use ask a anti social individual why they don't want to be social and engageing one the choice and desiscion two a past experience that has made them fear others if you want toad something go for it my advice don't live in the past learn from it and move forward.
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    Mar 1 2012: Kevin brings up a great point, but I think we need to be more expansive in out idea of "social networking" to include a continuum between virtual and f2f contact...I think that we also need to reevaluate the goals of our "networks" to include social/psychological/emotional support, economic interaction, health/wellness, community maintenance (for example).