The giver is in the
powerful position of deciding, which gift to give. A deliberately ill
considered gift, can cause offense. This of course may be the desired
effect or alternatively. The giving of a gift that financially cannot
be reciprocated, can be interpreted as a form of economic dominance,
and therefore quite abusive.
The giver gets a payoff,
because it may make the giver feel good, to give something to someone,
so isn't that actually a selfish act.
The receiver may not be in a financial position to reciprocate, and so may feel pressure and develop a resentment, towards the giver.
Reciprocity Is Complicated
Maybe you feel obligated to give a gift. Then you feel annoyed, that you have let your emotions get the better of you.
Like fish in a shoal we generally want to go with the flow. Reciprocity can be a strong characteristic. Being unable to reciprocate can have negative effects emotionally. There are examples of pure altruism all around us.
Acts of pure altruism exist.
How many times have you dug deep into your pocket, to help someone you will never know or meet.
Some people or animals may have been caught up in some disaster, and the only thing that you can do, is to give some money to the relief fund.
Helping someone in the street, who has fallen over. Returning mail that has been wrongly delivered to you, and the myriad of other ways that we help each other daily, with no reward in mind.
Gift giving and the nature of sharing on the web is influenced by who we are. Every tribe has selfless members. The way we interact online will reflect this.
The web has made meeting people worldwide much easier. It may in time lead to more social cohesion rather than less.
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