Sunday, November 24, 2013

On Connection and the Habit of Being Alone

Good Sunday morning to you all.

It is bright sunny sunshine outside, windy, and inside, the dog (the good one), the cat and me are all huddled on the settee. This is a lovely way to spend the morning. I could use someone to bring me more coffee and a gluten-free bagel, though, which brings us to today's topic.


I think the reason the internet is so popular (other than cat videos) is the connection people feel when they are online. Most people talk about how disconnected we are when we have our face in a screen, and it is true that we are disconnected from everything physically around us when that happens (think people recording a memorable experience on their iPhones instead of actually experiencing the experience), but when there is nothing around and all is quiet the internet (and various social media) provide a digital hand to hold.

This is nice at times. Sometimes I get a sense of community from my Twitter feed (diminished somewhat by the ads that are now being inserted); sometimes a great conversation arises on Facebook (especially lately with my friends at Baltimore Homeschool Community Center - talking about race and religion). I have lots of followers in England and Australia through Twitter, mostly because I tend to tweet in the dark hours of the morning, EST, when they are awake and about (just figured that one out), but things get quiet on FB around 11, which is unfortunate because I have had raging insomnia and sometimes it's nice to chat.

It feels a little ridiculous, though, getting my community from a device, especially since, at heart, I am a Luddite. I don't love people IRL a ton, though. It's a catch-22.  One of my favorite songs on this.

In the habit of being alone...a prisoner of freedom...

Hard to have it both ways. Missing connection of the real-life kind necessitates going out into the world, but the world is an annoying place at times. We have had to re-institute penalties for cursing lately, as my vocabulary has returned to its pre-child state in the last few months. Once in the habit of being alone, though, it becomes harder, more necessary and infinitely more annoying to seek out physical community.

One does not want to appear desperate. No matter how much one insists that one doesn't give a rat's ass about what other people think. One might be lying to oneself.

I guess we will get all of the IRL connection we can handle next week during the holidays. And then home for awhile and back out into the world on the left coast. And then the quiet of January and the awful reminder of February. You people had better step it up online, or else come and visit. I'm just sayin'.

A disconnected post. A bit rambly. Have a great day.

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