I think I’ve made this confession before in a previous post, but I actually remember a time when there was no internet. No email, no IM, no World Wide Web. It’s a bit trippy to think about considering my dependence on it now. This was highlighted again for me recently when the always interesting LatumWay took a hiatus from his YouTube channel and I experienced an actual feeling of loss. There are blogs and sites I visit weekly, some daily, and they make up a large part of my interaction with the rest of humanity – a pretty sad indictment if ever I heard one, but the truth none the less.
I also love instant messaging, with MSN Messenger being my fave. I love words, and I have no patience. Instant messaging and and I were always going to be a match made in virtual heaven. It was hammered home to me last night though that even this favourite form of entertainment/interaction has its limitations. I was talking at length, on Messenger, with a friend. We were talking about relationships, and the ghosts of relationships past. While friendships over the internet some times develop quickly, having an air of intimacy enhanced by the safety of being able to hide behind your computer screen, there are times when the written word just doesn’t cut it. My friend was recounting the loss of an amazing love and started to cry, and I was speechless. There were no words, nor emoticons appropriate to the occasion. All I wanted to do was reach out and hug him.
We spoke about having that one person who gets you, in ways no one else does. Who speaks the same language even in silence. Oh how I want that. And it occurred to me then, that as much as I love my computer and the internet, that type of connection is only really achievable in the ‘real’ world. I’m not knocking internet friendships or relationships. I’ve been lucky to have a few good ones myself. And luckier in that I’ve managed to parlay some of them into ‘real’ life ones. I just need to tip the balance from weighing heavily on the virtual to including more reality. The realness, the rawness, the agony and ecstacy- I want it all!