Algorithmic social

People who connect with so and so, tend to be interested in so and so….

Once you clicked down that path, you entered a maze that leads you further down the path of algorithmic and formulaic social links. No backing out, no return.

So, my machine-led social graph has taken on new twists and turns as I went back and forth between Vietnam and the US. During the downturn, I have followed the advice “Go East, Old Man”. So most of my Linkedin connections turned out to be friends of friends and associates in Vietnam. Now, back to the US, I hardly get any algorithmic recommendations for “white folks”.

Should I stay with machine-recommended linkage? Ignore it altogether? Go out and hustle for new connections in the US?

It’s a perfect storm: new apps, new austerity and new attitude (cash only).

All happened within the span of 4 years.

I  value friendships made during the downturn.

For everyone realizes we need one another more than ever.

A bit of self-advertisement, not self-aggrandizement.

Just nudging, swaying. Just in case. For the next job.

Friends in both high and low places. Need them both. The former to lift us up, the later for mutual support and empathy.

In the Strong and the Weak, Paul Tournier talks about how we need both (just look at Japan‘s aging population).

Virtual friendship is even more delicate than platonic. It’s out there, in the ozone (like pics sent from the Curiosity Rover in Mars), unreachable, but real nevertheless.

How impactful can it be? To what extent can we help one another online? What are the measures of a man/woman? Glowing recommendations? List of degrees and accomplishments? Or just his/her smile, transparency and potential?

Perhaps all of the above. For we start relying on machine-matched relationships. We are developing relational skills that have never existed nor been taught in school. Welcome to 21st-century network effect. Now go, shake hands (virtually) and introduce yourself.


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