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Connection - Chicago Burlesque Dancer Red Hot Annie Weinert
She really makes the wieners boil!

Red Hot Annie / Ann Marie Weinert
Date: 2013-05-28 13:53
Subject: Connection
Security: Public
These days, I find myself less and less compelled to write on my li'l online diary.

It's not that I don't want to write - and it's not that I don't want to reach out and touch you, but I find myself contemplating "Connection" these days, and what it means to connect to another human being in a meaningful way.



The internet has made it so easy for us to meet new people, get a full grasp on the life details one carefully and intentionally puts out there, but I wonder if any of it really amounts to anything? I wonder if I really even know the people who've told me who they are through their status updates and blog posts? I wonder if every time we are compelled to ask a general question like "Who wants to..." on a public forum - or every time we have to describe ourselves on a prefabricated template millions of others have also used - if it isn't just proof of how disconnected we actually are - and how interchangeable we believe the "other" people in our life to be?

Is this reliance on the written word through Facebook, blogs, phones, etc - is it all just another layer of lacquer we've coated ourselves with in an effort to detach?

I am what I say I am.
Except for when I'm not.

I believe that all people are walking contradictions - grasping for our better selves in a world that rewards settling, but I also think that we spend an inordinate amount of time trying to tell "The World" who we are and then trying to live up to it, when we are complex, and yes, even fallible.

As most people are not Writers, the written word is limited. In order to communicate by text only, you have to pick a series of words that you hope will bring clarity to the reader - you hope that what you say will be clear, but also that it will be given the benefit of the doubt when it's not. You hope that what you write will tide your reader over until you are actually able to see them in person and genuinely connect.

Maybe most of the common writing these days is just a way of postponing the anxiety or potential agony of a real conversation, real confrontation, and real connection. The written word affords us an opportunity to intrigue or stimulate strangers, of course - but does it really allow us intimacy with our friends or communities?

Or is our amateur grasp on the written word one of the many things to blame for the times we stumble and fumble through miscommunication after miscommunication, allowing "easy" new relationships to take the place of "complex" old ones in a way that our predecessors (really, our entire course of evolution) would be baffled by?

Do we believe that we are somehow getting the "whole" picture by watching a friend emotionally bounce back and forth on their facebook wall from joy to sorrow to anger? Or is this actually a symptom of a lack of genuine connection and friendships where a person can safely be themselves?

Is this reliance on an inadequate system of communication to blame for the people who have so many friends, yet still find themselves unprotected, struggling, and/or invisible when it counts most?

So...

I find myself detaching from the idea that to use social media is To Connect.

And I'm going back to the old-fashioned ways of connecting, instead. :)

xo

Annie
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Transitioning into liminal space
User: stormdog
Date: 2013-05-30 12:30 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I miss the feeling of connection I used to have through social networking, particularly through Livejournal. But it doesn't seem to be there in the same way anymore. I have, somewhat to my surprise, found new and interesting people in the last year or so and have experienced something of an LJ renaissance. But it's still nothing like the times when it seemed like everyone I knew was on Livejournal.

It's frustrating, because I'm much more interested in trying to reach out and connect to people these days. I'm still looking, here and there, for a way to have the sense of community that I'm looking for.
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Red Hot Annie / Ann Marie Weinert
User: redhotannie
Date: 2013-05-30 12:40 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I really feel you on this! :)
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Don Alsafi
User: duck2ducks
Date: 2013-06-16 16:10 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
This is similar to a frustration I've felt these past few years as well. For about seven years I wrote in LiveJournal near-daily; now, any post at all is rare. And yet while I use Facebook just like everyone else, I'm frustrated by the Twitter-like tendency towards short-attention-span bursts, rather than the longer, more thought-out posts I would see on LJ. I definitely find Fbook far, far less fulfilling than I ever did LJ, when it comes to feeling a real sense of connection.

LiveJournal had depth, but few remain on it.
Facebook has scope (everyone you know!), but people rarely divulge. Which, now that I think of it, is likely related.

Plus, there's the fact that I've far less time for writing these days anyway. I've been planning to write a LJ post on this very subject for a while but, appropriately, have not had the time... :P
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