For the three components of Intrinsic Motivation in Self Determination Theory to express themselves, a social network to which the person feels belonging is a necessity:
- Autonomy is only possible when contrasted with belonging to a social network, otherwise, well, it’s just loneliness.
- Competence exists when compared to what others do (or don’t), and, again, this is an emergent property of someone deep into a social network.
- Relatedness, well, says it all: the belonging in itself is an attractive part of social networking.
So my conclusion is that, if Self Determination Theory has any relevance (and I’m convinced it has) then intrinsic motivation is tightly coupled with the intimate feeling of belonging to a social network.
And in case you feel that a social network can be a nuisance, try being alone. In that doesn’t appal to you either, then it might be time to experiment a Laboratory of Social Technologies, an co-created endeavour with a friend for teaching people how to leverage their social network to solve one or any kind of problem. Check it out at http://www.labso.org/!