I read this blog piece a few days ago http://tatterhoodblog.com/2014/03/16/siri/ , which resonated with me on many levels. We are fortunate to have the ability to connect with people from all over the world with the click of a button. Barring time differences we can speak face to face with them as well as converse via various technologies unthought-of in quite recent history. Technology can be a burden but also a gift. Personally, I have met other writers from as far away as America and Warsaw, to name just two. People I would never have met any other way. The American writer posted on a non-writing site and our reponses to a topic were so familiar we began emailing each other. After several months, we found out our lives were mirrors of each other’s life experiences. This culminated in us visiting each ‘homes and becoming firm friends. We call each Soul Sister. The young woman from Warsaw, blogged how she felt alone in her writing, this was a call I could not ignore, so responded with a membership to my writers group as we have virtual as well as local members. www.wfscsherwoodpark.com She has since managed to publish her work and enjoys the connection with other writers. This is the positive side of the internet, as well as research possibilities for anything under the sun, we care to find out about. Our curiosity for knowledge can be satisfied with almost no effort at all.
However, not all connections can become physical ones and that is the shame of the internet. We cannot jump on a ‘plane at the drop of a hat in order to travel to far away countries to visit these contacts, for the most part. Our ‘relationships’ are limited to short conversations and ‘funny’ facebook posts. In short it is not a’ true’ friendship with shared experiences but that being said, still important connections for a host of reasons.
Do we hold these ‘virtual’ relationships above physical ones though? Are we so wrapped up in them that we do not connect with those around us?
How many of you open a conversation in a coffee shop, on a train or bus, even in the food store? People around us are as interesting as those on the computer screen. Has technology taken this ability away? I remember watching my Mother striking up conversations with complete strangers all the time. As a shy child I found this alarming but as I grew up I realized without human contact, we become isolated in a crowd.
We should not be afraid to connect with people – everyone has an interesting story to share after all. Who knows it might be a story idea.
What has been your experience with internet contacts?