"The term Social refers to a characteristic of living organisms (humans in particular, though biologists also apply the term to populations of other animals). It always refers to the interaction of organisms with other organisms and to their collective co-existence, irrespective of whether they are aware of it or not, and irrespective of whether the interaction is voluntary or involuntary."
Based on this definition, I think for media or anything other than a person to be called social it should allow the interaction of organisms.
The ability (innate or acquired by learning) to interact with others of the same species. Social networking is the new methodology with advantages offered to people that have difficulty relating to other people, in an anonymous setting. The disadvantages are that it foments impersonal relationships, and an increasing unsafe setting.
I'd say the main ingredient is being able to connect to people in the moment. The energy of the moment changes of course so people tend to go in and out of being 'social' in a broad sense. But as long as a person is genuinely interested in others and has a healthy curiosity and a good set of boundaries, the term 'social' could apply.
"What is the best meaning of being social?", what a wide open question! What is offered here is some information, an experiential exercise and an invitation for a collective exploration of the meaning of "being social" from the "view" of our emergent neurochemistry.
The recent new understanding of a social nervous system hardwired into mammalian autonomic self-regulation and evolution, provides a novel view of meaningfulness which takes us outside the box of dualistic thinking, and allows us to know, through our neurochemistry from the inside-out. Scientifically, social bonds have been described as a powerful form of learning, regulated by long-lasting changes in the endocrine system and the brain.
During an early phase of mammalian/human embryonic development, when we still look somewhat like tadpole, the primitive gill arches appear, only to transform into the anatomical structures of the jaw, inner ear and five cranial nerves of the social nervous system. In other words, a system which evolved to absorb nutrients by extracting oxygen from water transforms into a system that absorbs nutrients through the social relations. http://homepages.3-c.coop/erthworks/bodytruth.htm (scroll down 2/3rds to "The Social Engagement System), and www.nexuspub.com/articles/2006/interview_ma.htm. For questions of further information send a note to email@example.com
The optimal social nervous system neurochemistry, is a neuropeptide called oxytocin, which is referred to as the "love molecule" or "afffiliative neuropeptide." It soothes the body and calms the heart. The most powerful means for regulation of oxytocin is through the connective tissues which evolved to support physical visual consciousness, the four ocular muscles of the eyes. (an exaptation) It allows one to absorb nutrients from the prodigious neurosomatic source of fresh awareness. This provides a novel social interaction mode.
Try this exercise, then lie still for 2 - 3 minute resting your awareness in the effect of the exercise and doing nothing else at all. Enjoy absorbing the blissful nutrients of the neurosomatic elixir of life.
Once you are familiar with this process, invite a few friends to come together and share it with them. Afterwards explore the silent-radiant felt-sense of interconnectedness that just is, given. I suggest that one forms their own theories of explanations.
Take a bit of time to absorb each instructions before incorporating the next.
Lying down, find a comfortable position in which you can completely let go, into stillness. Use as many pillows as you wish. Begin by releasing all nerve and muscle force of the jaw, down and very slightly back, and turning the tip of the tongue up toward the palate. Breathe lightly through the mouth, meaning without the strain of effort, and, quietly. Connect breathing and awareness at the navel, along the central channel. Take a few minutes to settle, adapt and focus with inner awareness, in the delicious still-point, of biological rest and relaxation.
Continuing to breathe in this way, turn your attention to the four rectus muscles of the eyes. For two minutes, while simply resting awareness in the muscles of the eyes, 'tune-in' (listen) to the rate of breathing and, after the exhalation, on the beat of the heart. Sense the profound affect regulation between the connective tissue of the eyes, the heart and the lungs. Afterward, lying still, absorb what learning there is in the exercise.
Then gently and very slowly, turn your eyes up, hold them up and still for 5 seconds, then slowly back to center, pause, now slowly down.... In the same manner, to the right and then left. Remember to pause for a moment in the still-point, in the center, in between the movements. Hold each position for 3 to 5 seconds. Afterward, lying still, completely relax the muscles of the eyes and eyeballs. Rest awareness within this relaxation for a few minutes.
Subtly and gently, draw the muscles of the eyes straight in, or back, a few micromotions toward the brain. As soon as you sense the shape of the muscles of the eyes beginning to change (very subtle), stop right there, and hold them still gently, with awareness and one-pointed precision. Holding the muscles of the eyes-in, and still, with the jaw relaxed, rest awareness within the heart, and do nothing else at all. Hold this position for 30 seconds or more, while breathing gently through the mouth, to the navel. Then slowly release the muscles of the eyes over a ten second period.
Lie still, resting awareness in the effect of the exercise, invite your body to be primordially aware. Rest deeply.
The most used word I've see in the responses is interacting...which ia the base of being social. Be it humans, animals, or insects, mosy all are social in one form or another. If you look at nature, all social groups work toward the same goal..which usually involves food, shelter (or territory), and protection from enemies. I almost forgot...propitiation of the group. Not to necessarily make it larger...but to keep it going foward. Working for the same goals, and usually being of one mind. Now in nature this is mostly accomplished through instinct. With us humans it works a little different. So many different personalities, different instincts, but we can come together to work toward a common goal....though we are actually working toward individual goals in a common way. But if done correctly, it works out to the benefit of all in the particular group.