Social symbolism and attached meaning of shared objects

I know, I keep banging on about the importance of co-location, and on what we’re losing when working remotely.

Here’s another lose I’d like to share: “Deep social problem-solving with the aid of physical material”

Let’s relate this to research that reveals tool-use as an extension of our body.

“When we do something as apparently simple as picking up a screwdriver, our brain automatically adjusts what it considers body to include the tool. We can literally feel things with the end of the screwdriver.”

12 Rules for Life (Jordan B Peterson)

I speculate that tool-use (including physical material) doesn’t only extend our physical perception of self. We also attach symbolism and meaning. Think of children personifying and creating stories with a crude rag doll.

When objects are used socially, such as during a collaboration workshop, the symbolism and attached meaning have unspoken shared significance.

Does the digital and remote world in which we now operate offer the same potential as the placemaking of a shared physical environment? Does it equate to the emergent symbolism, attached meaning and collective perception that arises when collaborating with physical material?

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