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The fundamental need to belong

July 28th, 2008

This blog post by Mark Pesce presents the case that social networking is revolutionizing human social creation. Here is a breathless snippet:

We have a drive to connect and socialize: this drive has now been accelerated and amplified as comprehensively as the steam engine amplified human strength two hundred and fifty years ago. Just as the steam engine initiated the transformation of the natural landscape into man-made artifice, the ‘hyperconnectivity’ engendered by these new toys is transforming the human landscape of social relations. This time around, fifty thousand years of cultural development will collapse into about twenty.

At first, I thought it was over the top. But I actually think Mark Pesce is about right. Here’s the example that I like to use. Most people who graduated from college before Facebook think that Facebook may be a way to meet people or to organize parties. That happens a little bit, for sure, but Facebook has a much more profound impact on students. They don’t use Facebook to throw parties; they throw parties to generate compelling content for their facebook profiles. If it’s not on Facebook, it doesn’t matter. Didn’t really happen.

In my opinion, the transformation has begun.

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