Over a lifetime, each of us on the bell curve have prolonged contact with several groups of people, usually beginning with our immediate families. For many of us, that first group is frequently followed by our classmates, neighbors, and friends made outside of school or neighborhoods. Later in life, other common groups may include extended family, work colleagues, parents of our children's friends, and people from groups encountered via work interests, hobbies, or otherwise.
Considering all those groups - and add in anything I've overlooked - how many total people would you guess you've had prolonged contact with over your lifetime? For those of us thirty five and older, a guess is probably the best we can do. But if Facebook and other social media platforms continue to thrive, in 2056 when my millennial twenty seven year old daughter is my age her guess will be much more grounded than any of our 2016 versions. She'll be able to scroll through her networks - how many will she be juggling by then? - and tally how many individuals she actually had prolonged contact with over her sixty seven years. Will she bother? Almost certainly not, unless I can figure out a way to have this blog post appear on the screen of whatever device she's carrying forty years from now. If anyone can help me with that, I'd be grateful.
My daughter - like many in her generation - grew up with this technology and has embraced and adopted each social media platform as it was introduced. Consequently, her network is massive. And that has helped her career, allowed her to stay in touch with many people from earlier years and - at times - exhausted her. Still, I'm a little embarrassed to admit I envy her ability to do that tally anytime she wants; I like more precise numbers.