Social Capital – You are currently in the process of accumulating it, but you may not even know it.
It’s a form of capital, one which many of us are in the process of building without even realizing it. Without noticing its increasing importance in our world today, social capital is slowly becoming a legitimate form of assessment.
What does this mean?
Social capital refers to economic and cultural capital in which social networks are central. This capital is measured through transactions that obtain value on a basis of trust, reciprocity and cooperation. Essentially, it is the value you obtain through networking. Take a look at Airbnb or Uber for instance, two platforms that present a basic overview of an individual’s value or trust through an online forum. Generated from previous interactions, people are attributed worth. Furthermore, as seen through LinkedIn, people share their experiences and positive thoughts about others through “connections”. Though these are minor examples of the process of assessment through feedback, these pieces add to the list whereby the aggregate forms a whole repertoire of social capital.
How do we foresee social capital playing major roles in our day-to-day lives?
Through online interactions, it would become the norm to refer to a feature where people provide their personal insight on others which is then added to a database that would generate a person’s value. Profiles will have components such as average response times (emails and other forms of private messages could be taken into account), levels of trust, work habits and so on.
We foresee this online form of evaluating social capital as becoming extremely prominent in the years to come. With the population’s online presence continuously increasing, it’s just a matter of time.
I challenge you to observe your interactions and consider the value you add to your social capital.
How do YOU see this coming into play in the future? Will we be able to rely on this form of assessment? Will it aid in making informed decisions about potential partners, employees or providers, or rather detract from more legitimate ways of forming opinions?