Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Cyber-reality

This is lifted from a Facebook Wall-to-Wall conversation, but I think it speaks powerfully to, and about my generation. (those of you who don't know what Facebook is, google it. ;D),

[Rebecca Nigh is a friend from childhood-- she and the Osborne girls were the constants at my birthday parties and Christmas plans from age 2 up until 13 (when we painted my room together-- y'all remember that!?). Our families "matched up" perfectly: Me-Rebecca, Nicole-Katelyn, Anna-Jordan. And then there's Ian. He had no problem tagging along, though. Her family moved from our church in high school, and so we lost the constant connection, but those 14 years of shared experience don't evaporate. Add to that the fact that we still know a lot of the same people, and voila. You have one of those parallel friendships-- where you know each other, follow up with what's going on, mostly from a distance, but since you're going the same direction at about the same velocity, intersections are sweet and only carry momentum forward. SO... that's the background for this conversation, sort of like email...:]

Rebecca: thanks to blogs and facebook the other night I 'met' amy's claudio, and your ryan and i saw ryan and lydia's new condo, so yeah, i need to catch up in real life : ) i come to your fair library a lot, so i'll give you a call next time i'm there! [Amy=Amy D.; Ryan & Lydia=Ryan & Lydia Donell. Both blogs are linked to mine, over there on the left. Becca's at North Greenville University, just up Hwy 25, from Furman.]

Me: wow. it's taken you this long to get immersed in cyberworld? It's actually quite a help to reality sometimes. Like when I found out my friend Todd, whom I see EVERY DAY, is engaged. Somehow I missed the class announcement... it's what I get for being late to class, I guess. As far as the library goes, I'm there pretty much every day. John Wessel is, too. So come find us!! =D

Whole point of all that: Some say that cyberspace is an antireality...or at least an alternate form of reality for some people-- you have virtual friends, read virtual news, interact through virtual means, etc. And while I can see that as a potential danger...and actually do have friends that have gone off towards that extreme... most of our generation has, I think, managed to harnass the tremendous power of cyber-world to actually bolster reality. It's not called a "net" for no reason. It's interwoven, it's linked. How else could I see someone's name I remember from high school on Facebook, link to their blog that way, and then see pictures from their foreign study trip, linked to that site? It can be a great way to keep up with friends that are far away, to keep praying for them, and to schedule "get-togethers" quite apart from the phone or paper.

Another thought: Could that make friendships more "parallel" when they perhaps should be more angled, and thus more intersecting? I can get all the info on them I'd be interested in having; could get all "their news", without every talking TO them. Likewise, I can spill my guts on here, post pictures, express opinions, etc., without ever having to talk to TO them, or deal with their reactions? Maybe it feels more personal than it is... Maybe we're succumbing to the culture of the masses-- mass media?

Hmmm. Thoughts completely unrelated to the paper I was supposed to be writing, but oh well. =D Off to class!

1 comment:

szrama said...

I happily escape the cyber world whenever possible.. so I will see you tonight and hold your hand instead of post on your blog!