For some time I’ve been curious as to how events happen on Google+. From the very first moments of connecting with someone, all the way through to a blossoming relationship. It is fascinating that after some time in the Google+ environment we can all increasingly understand how relationships ‘work’ or don’t and how every event could be considered as ‘significant’.
So, what then does significant mean?
This is a central premise to understanding how relationships form through every seemingly small exchange.
Here is a definition from this source: sig·nif·i·cant
How does this relate to Google+?
Some events will be more significant than others, and some will set up a quick trajectory to the next events expressed through the dynamics of that relational exchange. Things sometimes will ‘just happen’ but so often it is the initial seeds that are sown that will bear fruit down the line. This is life, but with Google+ there has been an opportunity to ‘see this process’ happen.
Why has this happened now?
Think about it this way, with Facebook you are formed through the constraints and representations how people saw you in the past (as it is largely friends/family/colleagues), and with Twitter it is very much perspective being delivered in the present – but in neither situation do we have the opportunity to throw our content to the world and sustain a conversation over months on a topic. This is where Google+ has taken ‘blogging’ within the platform, to a place where conversations are no longer ‘bound’ by personal history, with their patterns and roles.
With your time Google+ you may well find that you increasingly realise how a relationship, and its nature, have formed through actions. And if you watch carefully you will see why you respond to people in a certain way when the circumstance arises. This is when the past actions bear fruit, as it were.
So, how does do the signals play out?
For example, even when we +1, or not, we are sending a signal to that person. And assuming that signal is received, often competing to be heard through the noise of all other competing signals, the person receives that as an experience (your face appears in their notifications with the +1 that you’ve made – and note that a person cannot turn off the +1s). This will often lead to a positive emotional experience. It is possible, however, that the absence of even a +1 can indicate that a person is intentionally refusing to close the loop on that comment. It is when there is closure that the relationship ‘feels ok’ – there isn’t something hanging.
What does this mean?
All of these actions are data stored in your algorithm. As does the act of unblocking, and all the events that lead up to that event too. The really incredible thing is how these actions will also be determinable as to the origination. The original cause, the perception the person has built up through similar actions, and the consequential action taken in that circumstance to that person can now be known.
On Google+ many of our behaviours could be intepreted as significant by the other person. One cannot see all of the influences as a whole, but through making reasonable assumptions having seen patterns play out time and time again, we are able to understand how a particular trajectory in a relationship occurs. The more ‘data’ we have built up personally on the reasons events happen, the more we can reflect and understand ourselves and the nature of relationships we form on Google+; and the future is determined by every interaction we have, and how the person perceives that interaction. This has been happening all along, of course, but now the difference is Google+ has given us a context
It is really amazing and a great opportunity to understand what it means to be human.