The Cost and Challenge of Cyber Connections

I feel like I came late to the blogostravaganza, but once I got in, I was hooked. I loved the opportunity to connect with others about art and creating lives that were more aligned with our dreams and personal ideals. I saw my blog as a way of creating community and of exploring who I was or wanted to be. The last year and a half has seemed to slowly turn because taking time to reflect on my life a few times a week, and sometimes more, has helped me to be more present.

“A dream you dream alone is only a dream. A dream you dream together is reality.”    ― John Lennon

The first several months were less exciting, to be honest. I would post and hope that someone would find me. That’s just the way a new blog generally goes. I felt like I was on a deserted island. Eventually, I learned how to find others and ultimately found a virtual community.

Recently, as I have been designing my business, exploring my business’s soul mission, it’s vision, what I want to offer, to whom, and how, the word connection kept coming up. I talk about connection here a lot, wanting to connect with you, hoping to facilitate connection between you as a group, but most ultimately exploring how we can connect more substantially with ourselves.

In school, I spent a good deal of time studying how we connect with one another. My undergraduate degree is in communication; my masters, in counseling.  For everything I have studied, there are limits to online connecting. The closer I get to developing my business, the more I feel the difference between virtual connecting and real world connecting.  I get frustrated with the screens and keys some days. I want to bust them open, throw them away, and have tea with you where we can talk face to face. There is so much richness in the real world.

The virtual world has it’s own richness; that can not be denied. The proof is in having been introduced to interesting, creative people from all over the world, having learned about myself from the stories others have shared, having had the opportunity to be part of social justice movements online that effect the liberties of real world people, and taking all that yumminess into my own life to make it all the more delicious.

With any relationship, I think it is important to occasionally evaluate how the relationship is working.  I have been quietly contemplating my relationship with the cyberworld (don’t worry, I am not going anywhere).  Do I sacrifice real world relationships for the development of virtual ones? Do I retreat into my virtual world when I am could make more of my off-line life?

“We are all so much together, but we are all dying of loneliness.” 
― Albert Schweitzer

These questions have been vague, unformed queries floating around in my subconscious for the last month or so. Then, this afternoon, they snapped into place. I was watching a TED video by Sherry Turkle that covered some of the points she explores in her new book  Alone Together: Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each Other.

I am sharing the video with you because I feel like it is a thought-provoking commentary for those who have offered part of their existence to the virtual universe. I want to encourage you to hold out to the end where she offers a challenge that might make a difference in you life. I have to tell you I am going to pick up the gauntlet she has thrown down and contemplate how it might serve me in my own life.  Enjoy!

As a way of connecting, I would love to hear your thoughts about the points Sherry brings up. Is this an area you feel like might benefit for some attention for you, or does it miss the mark?  Do you have ideas of how you might use the cyber world to more fully connect with yourself? I would love to hear your ideas!

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About Rachél

Hi, I am Rachél.... the quirky, big-hearted soul behind Creativity Tribe, a sanctuary for your creative spirit. As a life coach and artist, I know the importance of community, celebration, and transformation. Creativity Tribe is abuzz with connections to other creative bloggers and offers tips and stories to inspire your creative lifestyle! http://www.creativitytribe.com/
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2 Responses to The Cost and Challenge of Cyber Connections

  1. I am so glad you posted this, Rachel. I think that much of what she said rings true – especially for my son’s generation (he is 24), but even those older are susceptible. I don’t do a lot of texting, but do find myself developing friendships on FB. Like she said, friendships on FB are only what we want and allow them to be, so I agree with you that I would prefer face-to-face. It has been very surreal to meet my FB friends in person, which always reminds me that there are virtual friendships and then in-person friendships. It is a Catch 22. My world is more full and rich because of my online friends, but I miss the personal interaction of face-to-face (all the nuances of a person that I miss on the internet). For me it is going to be all about awareness and balance, I think. I think I have been doing a bit of rambling here, but that is what I would probably do in person too, so I won’t do any editing!!!

  2. Rachél says:

    Kathleen, I am so please that you chose to ramble! That is one of the main things I took away from the video…how we like the safety of editing ourselves over the net…how it supports our addiction to perfection (my words, not hers). And it is a Catch 22. We want those relationships but it is different. For me, acknowledging that we are more than the typed word is important. It doesn’t take away from what is created on-line, but is a reminder that there is more than this. 🙂

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