The Social Paradigm Shift
People are engaging in interest based conversations more so then ever. We've moved away from "pushing" our messages out to "pulling" our thoughts, ideas, and opinions in through online social networking. We are becoming much more social online then offline.
It's no wonder that our online social connections and interactions mean so much to us -- why we are spending more and more time online with friends we have never met rather than hitting the bars or other local offline social settings we once flocked to so often in the past to meet new people. The Internet is a menu with an unlimited list of people to connect with who match our interests, personalities, and styles. We have the ability to choose the relationships we form based on commonalities rather than settling for second best just for the sake of being in company with another.
As we get older it becomes harder and harder to form strong, long lasting friendships with new people offline. We were easily influenced as children and teenagers by our peers while trying to find our own identity. We listened to the same music our friends listened to we dressed like them or they dressed like us, we just wanted to fit in. As adults we're no longer molded by our peers to identify ourselves, we mold our own social settings creating new friendships based on our identity. In essence, we're fine tuning our lives to match our own interests. We make friends with people across the world who share the same hobbies, passions, careers, and opinions as we do. The Internet has given us free reign to customize and personalize our social relationships, a connection where our only limitations are conflicting time zones.