Wondering about the difference between connections and relationships
We are all getting more connected, but in a strange way we might be getting less and less related at the same time
Brave new connected world
With the explosion in social networks like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, and other digital ways to connect with people, we are all getting more and more connected and soon there might come a day when we can easily connect to anybody else on the planet.
But at the same time more and more people describe their lives as “lonely” and when questioned in surveys very few can name but a very few “close relationships” – if any. So I wonder if the structure that “binds” us together in relationships is of a very different character than the structure that “connect” us.
Relationships in a connected world
I think relationships are fascinating and still one of the strongest dimensions in our identities, but maybe it is very different from the concept of connections.
One example could be how you are “connected” to the other fans when you are fan of the same football team, but have a relationship to the other players, when you are down inside the field, standing on the grass, as one of the players.
On the field your identity is very much pre-defined and a lot more about action, about how you have to move and at the same time keep your position, as defined by the number on your t-shirt.
But more, your relationship with your team mates also depends on how long you have been part of the team, how much you have trained and prepared yourselves, and also on how you co-act with those around you in real-time, as you defend, keep, play and relate to the others over time in a much more demanding reality.
If these thoughts are not all nonsense, then could there be a very different structure that “binds” us together in relationships?
A structure that can be anything from supporting, thrilling, frustrating, exiting, exhausting or hurting to plain boring. Depending on your position, your talent, your courage, attitude, luck, background and a lot of other things.
But also a structure we don’t relate to as much if we spend most of our time as “fans”, in safe distance from the relationship-grass, picking the football clubs or TV shows we like the most and define ourselves more and more by clicking “like” on Facebook.
Illustration and text by Frits Ahlefeldt