Is it possible that the theory of reciprocity when transformed to the social web in direct relation to power and influence, is actually not done in the spirit of which the framework it was created but actually a cheap, fast, and easy way to get people to do what you want them to do, versus what the true spirit of reciprocity is?
Have you received a compliment on a new haircut, a t-shirt, or purse? Have you ever desired to return a compliment and so you scramble to find something to compliment the compliment-er? That is the power, good or bad, of reciprocity. You feel the need to ‘pay’ the person back either with a compliment, gift, or service later on.
Reciprocity comes in cultural and social aspects. For instance, if your neighbor asked you for a cup of sugar, you wouldn’t deny them of sugar because you know that somehow, someway you will lock yourself out or need to borrow something from the neighbor later on.
The social norm of reciprocity is the expectation that people will respond to each other in similar ways (Wiki).
But you should not give to get. That is selfish. In life, you should expect nothing back when you give. The true spirit of reciprocity allows you to give, knowing that you may need that person sometime down the line. That is not too off from what Jesus teaches as the golden rule: Treat others as you would like to be treated.
We all have Facebook. Some of us tweet. Social media has created another community within the confines of the web.
You retweet things you like that other people said. You ‘like’ statuses that are funny and informing.
Do you retweet to get a retweet back? Do you ‘like’ something so they can ‘like’ something you said back?
Web reciprocity is a short term thing. There is no skin involved. Reciprocity, in the neighbor context above, is for the long term.
Is your reciprocity genuine through the mediums of social media? Can reciprocity ever be?