The dark side of networking!

There are many positive aspects of networking - more contacts, more recognition, more information – and the best part is, it increases your worth as an individual. Today networking is ‘the’ buzz world around the globe. You need job, network! You need investors, network! You need social help, network! As if the world was never approachable before we had networking in our culture. The counts of Facebook and LinkedIn friends have become a matter of prestige and who knows would also become criteria of selection for tomorrow’s jobs. I would not negate the good it has brought to society but I guess it’s high time to reflect on the dark side of it too because as things go beyond control; they get ingrained in the culture along with their negatives thereby making themselves inseparable from us even if they are doing harm behind the scene. Social work has already been a victim to it. Facebook groups like Save Tiger or Campaigns for Cancer Awareness can amass hundreds of thousands of members, yet at times members of these groups, including the organizers themselves, fail to contribute in real ways to the cause. Membership in an online group can never be equal to true commitment; it might even make people less likely to take action, because they feel that their online group membership lets them off the hook. In one study, researchers showed that when people talk about their intentions, they can be less likely to act on them because the talking gives them a "premature sense of completeness."

On the same lines networking through an online world can never equate the relationship that is developed through face to face interactions while understanding each other’s feelings not by words but everything else: the body language, the facial expressions, the emotions. All of know how much we laugh, or even feel like laughing, when we type ‘LOL’ in our online conversations. With limited 24 hrs in a day and increasing work pressures, time for others is reducing while the number of friends is drastically increasing through the online enablers; so forcibly we are left with hardly any time for any of our friends. At times it takes 2-3 days to respond to a ‘Hi’ mail, forget about relationships! The Gen Y today believes in short term solutions and networking is an apt tool for that. For some this short term would last throughout their life but that would be not the case with most of us. One or the other point in life we will face the lack of relationship with excess of networking.

This is getting too materialistic. No doubt you can leverage on the ‘give and take’ facility the networking offers but what if when you are not in a position to give anything but desperately need something from somebody? True that some of the network do convert into good selfless relations but can we ever equate them to the potential relations that we just lost because we had put them in the cadre of networking pool. Having thousands of people in your network would definitely give you a materialistic advantage but it can never replace a true friend who would be there for you even when your closest of the people are not around and in spite of the fact that you never ‘networked’ with him or rather touch based with him for many years. It is all about relationship and networking is just an initiator but unfortunately many of us consider it as the destination and try climbing the ladder of success with these feeble links.


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