Over the course of the decade, social networking has evolved to be our default form of maintaining relationships. The pandemic has radically crystallised this, and it is important that we recognise, begin to accept, and hopefully adopt a healthy way to maintain and enhance our relationships. Part of the survival of the human race is the ability to adapt to changes around us, regardless of whether we welcome these changes.
Everyone has his or her own way of maintaining ties. Which networking style speaks to you? (Mariss King, 2020).
a) Convener : You tend to form close, interconnected groups, and you are tend to have social networks populated by mutual friends.
b) Broker : Your social networks tend to overlap less. You are likely to have several friend groups that don’t interact with each other.
c) Expansionist : You can be considered a social butterfly— you tend to have very large social networks and numerous acquaintances.
Of course, we can adopt more than one style, and our social networking styles may evolve over time as well.
Convening networks are crucial for providing social support, and if you or the people you care about are struggling, ensure that there is a commitment to regularly check-in with each other.
One particularly key concern is that the social support is intentional, directed, and the time invested, although it may be as short as a span of 15 minutes, is one spent with presence, with quality. The quality time spent often feels more impactful, and is perceived to be longer than it actually is. If you spend many hours in a day in each others' presence (office/home etc), carve out snippets of time in order to connect. Simply have the intention to connect and be present, and the 'support' that happens is essentially effortless. Sometimes, even a simple text might suffice.