As a child I led a very lonely life because we moved every year and best friends became increasingly hard to come by.
Plus we were a weird family, as far as families go. A little of this, a little of that, but we didn't really belong anywhere.
I found refuge in dolls and later in reading, performing and art and eventually (as you can probably tell), writing took over my life. Also, eventually, family.
"To love and to work," Freud said is the balance required for mental health.
He wasn't a great fan of community. For him in fact it was just the opposite - a contributor to mental illness, a gigantic thicket of rules that functions like a restraining order against mature thinking.
But Freud was incorrect. A person needs a community in order to function. At work, for example, innovation is increasingly driven not by the lone genius but by a creative team that plays off each others' strengths. And for the individual, community is a source of meaning, fulfillment and service regardless of the state of one's personal relationships.
Social media is actually an expression of community. People need it - it is only going to grow in importance - because it enables anyone to participate in community.
If Web 1.0 was information, Web 2.0 was interaction, and Web 3.0 is community, Web 4.0 is going to be the extension of virtual communities into the physical world. As we confront one another as people, recognizing our shared stake in a mutually safe place for humanity, social media will bring the world together, very literally.
I do believe it will bring about world peace.
We have a choice: It is either die, or community.
All opinions are my own and do not represent those of my agency or the federal government as a whole. Painting: "Color Study: Squares In Concentric Circles" by Wassily Kandinsky via Wikiart.org.