Youth. Basketball. Making Connections. Basketball is not exactly at the top of the list for contact sports. However, it is, like all sports, as much about making contacts as it is about the game. How we treat our teammates, and other teams we play, says a lot about our character, integrity, ethics, and morals.

And we need to be the same off the court, field, etc. as we are on it. It's all about developing relationships, and helping each other make it through life .. some people call it teamwork or networking.

For example, you never know if the person you played sports with on a high school team will later in life be the doctor that helps you with a cure, or is someone you can refer to a friend or family. You've both developed trust through your relationship, and now you're in the position for making contacts, and thus a positive difference in the world.

The same is true online as it is offline. Here on ipernity, for example, I've met many people in my now short time here who are becoming friends, from many countries around the glob as well as connected with people locally. It comes from caring about others and giving of ourselves, and developing relationships through pictures, and comments ... and following.

The internet has changed over the years with the infancy of social media. It used to be that we called the intenet the web, becuase of all the blogs and how they became a web of links that would bring thoughts and community together. Now with Social Media we have The Stream to feed us all with the content we desire.

I think it is best said in this article by Cal Newport on how things have changed:

"What we lost in this shift from the hyperlink to The Stream was the ability to encounter diverse ideas, radical insight, and transformative new perspectives. What we got instead was more of what we already know, delivered like a pre-masticated paste, easy to digest and sure to please."

One of the things about photo sharing is that it works like blogs used to, though instead we post a picture that tells a story instead of write an article. But there is a caution here. I think we have lerned in this culture of followers and connections is to take for granted our own work, that no matter how deep we go into our work we can be sure others will see it. Where if we didn't depend on connections but, rather, to create work that is so deep it creates and inspires ideas that spread, and makes the world a better place to live.

Which brings me to my point for this article. Today I saw a comment on my work that reads "It seems that you are no longer interested in my pictures. No problem and I will keep viewing your photos when I come across them. But I have deleted you from my contacts. Very sorry for that."

When I saw this it made me smile, because this is a person who keeps a close eye on who their contacts are and fosters interaction. It also made me sad, because life comes from caring about others and giving of ourselves, and developing relationships to the point that we don't expect anyting in return from our giving to the world.

For example, I don't follow many people and don't expect many to follow me. What I do, however, is visit groups and view this as an extention of my own contact list. Sort of how blogs used to work by visiting them for updates and finding new people as well as new ideas. In other words, if the people who's work I appreciate also share their work in the groups I appreciate, the only reason to make them a contact is if their works are really inspiring, or you find yourself visiting and commenting on their works all the time.

There is no follow for follow, or comment for comment, but rather a silent and mutual appreciation for each other and our works. You might be amazed at how much this has an effet on your activity feed and makes you smile each day.

This, to me, is the true way of photo sharing, following, making contacts, networking, and developing frienships.

Am I wrong?

“If you go out looking for friends, you're going to find they are very scarce. If you go out to be a friend, you'll find them everywhere.” -- Zig Ziglar