This for example:
People's relationships have always been about proximity. Obviously, circle of influence is entirely based upon geography and the ability to leverage communication over distance.
From that point of view, the Internet connects people who would have never been able to become acquainted otherwise- whether it be through common interest or goal.
While this is amazing, the Internet has destroyed one of the most powerful components of conversation as a means to build relationships: the question.
Questions are bond building.
Don't believe me? Ask someone about an interest they hold. When you do, your indication of interest demonstrated gives them a subtle but powerful alert toward your respect, appreciation, or admiration.
This opportunity to answer a question gives the answerer a chance to experience themselves through sharing their knowledge- incidentally, an opportunity to feel good about themselves.
Because people participate with others for what they experience within, that positive sensation is vital to building strong friendships and relationships.
These days, we're expected to either know the answer or to be competent at finding it.
After all, we have Google to thank for categorizing information in a way that can let anybody with two to five keywords know anything about any topic that any human has even thought of thus far.
The damage happens when a person could care less about the topic but hopes to learn about the person. With the opportunity to ask basic questions deferred to the expectation that people should "just google it," the opportunity for someone to answer with their well formed opinion (and personality) is taken away.
Neither the questioner or answerer gain.
Person 1 finds Person 2 and their obsession with ________ interesting. Not that they find _______ altogether interesting but Person 2 intrigues them and has an interest. Therefore asking about ________ is merely an opportunity to connect with another real life living human.
If Person 1 asks a question and Person 2 responds, "use Google," do you really think Person 1 is going to ask a question without reservation again?
Of course not- people, especially the ones who put the effort in to being smart, hate to look stupid.
Now with that opportunity to let others stimulate dialogue through answers lost, an unbalance toward observational statements is created. Declaring your opinion on a topic or an observation is another conversational tool but it sets a tone for a completely different type of conversation, history of dialogue, with a final consequence of less strong relationships.
My theory being as follows:
The strongest friendships and lasting emotional bonds occur when you help someone realize their true worth and greatest potential. In other words, relationships aren't about you or how you are seen in the eyes of others, relationships are about how others experience themselves when they interact with you.
While questions are about them, observational statements are about you.
Though proactively sharing your unsolicited opinion adds to the cohesiveness of the experience, doing so is a lot like the up stroke on a bicycle. Although reciprocation is needed, progression isn't powered through doing so.
Time and time again, the best way to break the ever building ice is to ask a question.
(To be continued)