Reaching out to friends and family

NGI, Institute of Socioloy and DElab
Warsaw, 15 Oct. 2019

This time was different than other workshops in respect of the following: Although still fitting within the generation that is addressed as Millennials, this group resonated similarities but also some pretty interesting differences with previous participants. The main question this time was: how do you reach out to friends and family and what makes it meaningful? In this group as well as in others, the past holds memories of more face-to-face contact than the present. The internet was a way to reach out to friends beyond boundaries of time and space. Futuristic as this may sounds it basically means a way to find friends just outside the physical environment in age and village, or in a curfew set by parents. Online and offline were complementary.

Present contact however, feels like it takes place online more often than offline. The amount of friends is about the same, but the number of acquaintances have increased. This group explained today they are more picky in choosing friends and relations feel more shallow. Face-to-face meeting is still appreciated better among close friends.

Again in the future part of the workshop a different opinion was expressed by one group of participants when they expressed their perception of the importance of the medium for meaningfulness as ‘old-fashioned’. Instead they argued that even in the future meaningfulness will not be drawn from (the lack of) specific media, but rather from the substance, the content of these media. The other groups described future paradoxes. The first of world wide connection with new ways to learn more easily and find information as well as better transportation versus disconnection from direct (physical) environment and never knowing what is happening outside of your social bubble. The other future paradox placed in opposition online as effectiveness and offline as intimacy.

Taking care in the digital age

Barcelona, 26 February 2019