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This paper explores social computing from the perspective of sociology and its effect on social networks. We focus on traditions of symbolism, personalization, and gift culture to better understand the lived experience of participants engaging in social networking tasks. Our review reveals the importance of symbolic communication, creating strong emotional ties through personalization, and creating bonds through gift exchange. These key factors can be incorporated into machine interaction in order to create socially intelligent computing that considers emotion and personalization essential in strengthening meaningful experiences. We exemplify their use through the design and creation of Patches, a wearable social networking system.