I’m offering a digital hand shake to raulconde001. Raul is one of the newest followers of this Blog. I do not know Raul. I have no idea where he lives or what he does. I only know that he decided to follow the meandering thought I put forth from my keyboard onto this blog. What opinions, emotions and thoughts have I shared that makes this blog interesting to Raul and the other followers. I actually don’t find myself interesting enough to follow so why should they? Do we have something in common? Are our thoughts completely opposed making me of interest to Raul? WHY?
I’ve written before on how all of the digital mediums are so impersonal. I’m sitting alone (my wife and son taking a nap) at the kitchen table, solitary in m thoughts pecking at my keyboard. There is a sense of security about it. No one to comment on what I am saying. Others are not around me interjecting their two cents into the discussion. I see no faces portraying their reactions to what I say. It’s rather freeing.
Maybe that’s the lure of digital communication. No feedback. No judgement. I am free to say anything I want without judgement. I am allowed to present thoughts and emotions of my choosing with no immediate response. They might be my deepest innermost emotions, ones I have not shared with anyone for fear of judgement, free to pour forth without interruption They may also be a tapestry of my imagination. A web spun of great detail bearing no place in reality. There is no one to question their validity. I can combine my words and sentences in a manner that hurts or inflame others. They are not here for me to see the pain on their face or face the wrath of their reprisal. I’m here safe and secure to peck away at my keyboard.
Is this an indictment of digital media? YES and NO. I’ve experienced the hurt experienced by words carelessly, or purposely placed on Facebook. It’s easy to sit home alone, as angry thought churn through your mind letting them release onto the keyboard, to be posted on the internet without thought or consideration. “YEA! I got them.” It is not so easy when you face them, look into their face and see a real person with faults and emotions. So the emotions fly and people hurt. Does the author have regrets later? I hope so. I often call Facebook evil.
There is another side, the uplifting stories, the communication. Our child has Autism. I can’t begin to express how much the words from a blog called Autism Daddy has helped me. I’m not alone! Others face the same things I do in my everyday life. My wife connects with other Autism parents and shares thoughts and ideas. We are not alone. This wouldn’t be possible without digital media.
I met my wife online. We were both on an online dating site. We began communicating through the site, not yet to have met. I am sure I was much funnier and witty without the pressure of meeting in person. I was probably more charming also. I found myself racing to my computer when arriving home in hopes of a few words from her. This went on for a time. When it came time to finally meet we were both hesitant. What if we don’t like each other after we meet? What if I’m not the person she thought I was? Neither of us wanted our online relationship to end but knew if it didn’t work in the real world, the online world would also end for us both. We were fortunate. Things were only better in person and that was over 12 years ago, so I guess everything worked out.
I guess my only conclusion is that digital media is no different from anything else. It’s not the thing, it’s how we use it. It is still relatively new so we, as humans are still learning. It is less personal but if used not in place of human contact but in addition to, it offers much. If we understand that those on the other side of our posts are people with feelings and emotions the same as us, it has hope.
So for those of you following my blogs, thank you. Thank You for validating that I have something to say, agree or not. Thank you for giving me a reason to share my thoughts and hope. Thank you for finding something I say interesting.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go and post these words on digital media for anyone that cares to share them.