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Bringing meaning to all that clicking

September 22, 2011

“I socialise, therefore I am” is the new philosophical proof of existence, at least on the World Wide Web. Socialisation is as old as humankind but the Internet has vested the concept with new possibilities and opportunities.

I could, if I wanted to, send a message to my friends, colleagues, relatives, former professors and even old school enemies on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or any of the many social networks I reside in. I could play a virtual game of mah-jong or engage in an online forum discussion with people from around the world whom I have never met. There truly are no strangers on the Internet.

So we are definitely more connected. But are we communing? Is all that tweeting, liking, blogging and digg-ing helping us form deeper relationships? Are we doing more and doing better?

In fact, the opposite seems to be true. The trend in social networking, in large part, tends towards consumerism and superficiality. We befriend hundreds of friends each year but maintain close ties with only a handful. We like and dislike countless news stories but rarely roll up our sleeves to help in a charity project or volunteer for a cause.

Digital interactions can be meaningful and empowering to add value to our online relationships. Here are four great examples of social innovation happening right now.

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