As we grow up our social context is ever shifting. Friends, family, tribes, partners - they shift in and out or your life as you grow up. Sometimes this shift is geographic, sometimes it’s cognitive, and sometimes it’s both.
Maybe during these periods of transitions we are social nomads - searching for the others that will make us feel what we require.
In the past, geographic approximation forced our hand - you needed to be deeply integrated into the social systems that physically surrounded you. Instantaneous global connection changed everything. The fidelity of communication and interaction has opened us up to new worlds of possibility.
Of course, this is still new. The social nomad, once a rare outlier, is now in all of us. Not only is it in us, but the availability to find groups who get you is easier than ever.
Surely this gives solace to those who feel physically trapped with a tribe they don’t identify with. It opens worlds of freedom and opportunity to those that might feel oppressed by the norms of their physical world.
But maybe this also gives us an easy out. It gives us easy places to hide and allows us to avoid the hard work of discovering and discussing ideas that we don’t immediately agree with. After all, there’s a group somewhere that believes exactly what you believe (and if they don’t work out, there will be another). Maybe this mode of behavior turns the world inside out - shifting the lens we see through as a reflection of our hiding places.
Maybe social networks are exactly that - interstates for the social nomads in all of us.