Why complex digital social networks will never exist.

You must find some cultural differences in the role of physical contact in the management of your regular relationships, right?

From birth to childhood touch is the sensory stimulus more developed and with greater contribution to cognitive and socio-emotional development. Is present in the social context as a form of communication, and through it, is possible to discern different emotions among humans (Hertenstein et al.2006a).

While humans are programmed to feel a greater bond and comfort of human relationship with someone who touches us. The person who touch also feels more connected even if the touch is momentary. A touch on the forearm that lasts a mere 40th of a second can make the receiver feel better but also the donor feel kinder and warmer.

Touch has a memory.
― John Keats

In a biological perspective, the communication through touch, fits in the evolutionary development. The animals are able to communicate without the need of any primitive linguistic system. We use senses such as touch, smell, gestures and even point to each other as we are. It is not by chance that for example vertical positions adopted by man give a social sort order and reflect these primates.

Physiologically, authors such as Paterson (2007) consider the touch is an act resulting from the combination of numerous information between nerve endings and receptors controlling temperature, pain and movement. Is a sense of communication. Is receptive, expressive and can bring distant objects and people closer.

Kurzban (2001) through your study talks about the idea that the touch can be regarded as a social relationship proximity signal, derived from the result of cultural learning.It is easy to understand and support this idea, the theory says that the added touch increases and help kinds of positive behaviors for who receives the touch. Furthermore the touch can be used as intensifier in the communication mode when it expresses an emotion. Unsurprisingly people communicate emotions through different non-verbal channels, including the face, body and touch.

Of course we do not develop complex social networks and human relations without these emotions (Kenneth d. Keith, 2011) . Such emotions play an important role in the way people relate because originate a motivational system that drives people to act in a manner likely to promote valuable relationships.

So this emotions are not an optional extra or accidental in the “digital world”. They are part of the web experience and normal practices. As well as social needs, digital people also need to express emotions that must be met for a better relationship promote or for example organizational commitment and productivity in a network.

The non-attendance of the body in the social networks, limits that involved people sense with accuracy. This has an impact on the self identity and recognition in digital dimensions. And of course, there’s a significant mismatch between what we try to express and others decode in interpersonal digital communication.

About the author

André Casado

I'm a crazy psychologist and Idea Entrepreneur on Digital Personality. Professor of Digital Communication and CEO at IAMIN.
LIS, Portugal.

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