Building a social network, is it really worth it?

Maintaining a global cyberspace is no joke, but the temptation is still there to reach out and share your ideas and work achievements.

I certainly have a lot to share on my learning experience throughout the years, from the times at high school in Couvent des Oiseaux in Dalat to Lycée Yersin in the same city. During these times, we all went to English evening classes and most of my childhood memories still evolve around this period. I remember my English teachers, mostly Americans – missionaries, volunteers, advisors, and even army officers – who had contributed to my English fluency of today. Facebook has helped me to reunite with some childhood friends who mostly relocate in the States, while most of us were trained in French and shaped up with French culture!!!

By the end of the war, my student learning experiences were mostly in Saigon (rebaptised HCMC). My days were filled with extra-curricular activities such as music, sport, gym, swimming, singing…, which occupied the full 60-hour weekly activities of my awaken time. Out of this period of life, I kept contact with about 10 schoolmates, but the rest of them seemed to vanish in the air with sudden departures due to war time, and post-war peace !?. Some have kept contact through FB after a 40-year separation, but we did noot not really keep close contact with each other, except some exchanges on food, shopping, or selfies, which I did myself too, alas!

Later, my first job experiences in Vung Tau evolved around my tour guide and interpreting activities. Most of my contacts were tourists and I have kept contact with some through the years. My new friends are from Norway, Germany, Switzerland and many other parts of the destinations in the World. I even got married to one, as shared with some FB group of friends in my Back to Square One book. Writing about some experiences also helped me to keep contact through my postings and sharing on my FB pages.

I lost track of most friends and colleagues I met in my early days in Switzerland, Norway, Singapore and Malaysia, where I spent my most productive years working and raising my children. In these countries, I went to school for my MBA studies and later for other further studies, but my classmates I had in these countries did not keep close contact, and now I am ashamed to admit, that I cannot even remember more than ten names out of the hundred and thousands that I met. Shame on me! The only exceptions were some Singapore professional contacts that I still keep contact over the years, having been their interpreters and staff. So, now with FB fans, I feel at least not so lonely in this big world.

So, what is the point to try to build a global network when I cannot even keep to myself my closest friends of my childhood and younger professional life? Well, the illusion of trying to build around you a network may be to compensate the vacuum around you when you try to list out how many people listed on your 65th birthday invitation, you wonder how many of them are really ‘YOUR friend’.

I guess we humans are social animals, and need a bit of warm feelings around us. Social networking is part of a very big emotional need that we all face with. To answer the question, I think yes, it’s worth it because we are all lonely stars that need to shine together in a dark sky, and therefore, we need each other.

Have a good weekend,

Anita H.

Published by Anita H.

Expert in Intercultural Communication, navigating between 4 cultures and 5 languages which I use daily for work and leisure. Author of blogs on wordpress and blogspot on SBI Training Solutions Projects: vietnamhoc, yourvietnamexpert, yourvietbooks, sbi-training.com.

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