I learned yesterday that one of my friends on Facebook became a father for the second time at around the same time as I did, almost a year ago. I didn’t learn this from Facebook or from any other web-based net. I learned it because I was hanging out in the real world with some real people we both know.
And no, this is not someone who I hardly know, or who lives far away. This is someone who, like me, lives in the Boston area (although he might prefer the term I used to use: the greater Cambridge area). We have each been to the other’s home multiple times, although not, I think, since either of us became a father. We are directly linked on LinkedIn and on Yahoo 360, as well as on Facebook.
Having told that little story, so what? The obvious point is the rather tired one about “social” networks and what the links in them really mean. But I think that a more relevant point is that the networks are only as social as the people in them.
I need to get out more into the real world and, in particular, into certain circles. Even if I can’t do that as often as I used to pre-parenthood, I need to take more advantage of the world wide web as a complement to local real world links.