Connected

Used to be we knew the people around us.  We knew our neighbors.  The Barnes next door?  We used to go to their back door, year round, and say “trick or treat”.   Just for a little treat.   The family next to us had nine kids.  We knew which families were Catholic, and which were not.  It didn’t matter if they weren’t, we just knew because we talked to one another.  We saw one another.  We gossiped about one another.  Our world was in front of us.  Near us.

Now, the world is literally at our fingertips.

We all know the internet is fraught with negative and nasty.

 But like all super powers, if used with consideration, thought and positive purpose – it opens our world to one another.

We ‘meet’ people without ever seeing them.  We ‘talk’ to them without ever hearing the sound of their voice.  We know when they are feeling poorly without having a clue as to their physical well being.  Through our tippity tappity method of chatting on blogs and other social mediums we can literally get a daily dose of worlds never so easily shared before.

We share our dinner ideas.  Our parenting ideas.  Our ridiculous personal behaviors.  Our excitement at successes.  Our fear of our failures.

And we get to know one another in a very distant, and yet often times honest and real, way.

I wonder how my friends are in Ecuador, Canada, Australia, Philippines,  Wales, England, Ireland, California, Iowa, Oregon and Washington, Italy, Greece, .   How is your aging father?  How is your young son doing with the next phase of his life, his first step in to adulthood?   How is your mum since she fell?  How did that new job interview go?

All around the world there are people.  Oh so simple – to know that we already knew that.  But now, we can know a life so far away.

And we wonder.

We are curious.

We are interested.

We are connected through our words.

And we realize that a very personal world is being lived by over 7 billion others in over 7 billion very personal ways.

And then…

They are gone.

I can liken it somewhat to reading a book.  A good book.  A book that grabs your interest and your imagination.  You can’t wait to finish it.  Then you do.  And once you finish the book – that’s it.  No more involvement with that world.  You could re-read it if you wanted to.  But you don’t glean any new information.   It’s not even always possible to recapture what it was you got from the book the first time.  You finish the book and your imagination may take you further.  But you just don’t know.  You put the book down and that’s it.

But here, ….there’s a connection.    We comment.  We discuss.  We laugh or we disagree.  We carry on past the reading.

We are a connected world.

To real people.

And real people live real lives.  Real lives we don’t, and shouldn’t expect, to have access to.  But like reading a great book and loving the characters…. it’s difficult to not wonder about, hope for, and cheer for – the people we read.

And the people we miss reading.

Where ever they are.

26 thoughts on “Connected

  1. I know I ‘feel’ connected to some of the people in the blogosphere more than others. Can’t help it because we have interests in common and I don’t need to get dressed up to meet with them.
    I haven’t know my neighbours for over five years since I moved here. In my last house it took years to strike up a relationship because everyone came and went at different hours and everyone worked. It’s much easier getting to know your neighbours when your have children of school age these days. ;-P

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  2. Colleen, this too is a wonderful post, one i can connect to immediately, one that touches my heart and my soul. But when that individual is not there, it makes me concerned. It makes those hidden fears surface. These words, these indvidual are clearly a part of my very own existence. They are my strength and my weakness. Thank you for reminding me. Please take care, Bill

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    • There’s a few I miss, but one in particular I think about so often. Not sure how she is and I worry. It’s so easy to connect to so many people these days. But even as easy as it is, there are some that you make a stronger connection with. Like you Bill. 🙂

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  3. That is the greatest part about this community. We get the opportunity to meet people from many different backgrounds and from all over the world. I feel very connected with a few people I have met while blogging and as you said, I think and wonder about them. Their words have many times, come up in my mind throughout the day and caused me to change my perspective or mood. Others have disappeared and I often wonder what happened to them. It’s an interesting world of people and connections we have here and I enjoy every moment of it. Thanks for this great post.

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  4. I sense that connection, too, as I think we all must in one way or another. And when that connection is disrupted, it challenges me. I sometimes want to reach out to them more personally, and then question that we don’t have “rules” for this kind of territory. I don’t know what’s putting my nose where it doesn’t belong. I guess we can miss people, and hope they may come back after a time if they miss us in return? You expressed your own thoughts so beautifully, Colleen. And as a bit of added measure, we’re going to travel from our home about three hours south to San Diego to meet a blogging friend visiting from the east coast…I’m really looking forward to it! We will probably discuss this very topic! 🙂

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    • Oh I’m so excited for your meeting! I’ve met a couple of bloggers and have been excited because it felt like I already KNEW them. And true to their blogs, I did.

      You’re right that there aren’t any rules for this kind of thing. And fortunately I think most people are extremely respectful of privacy. At least in my experience. It’s been hard, missing some. And wondering about them. I just hope ‘they’ know they are thought about in a positive way.

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  5. Connection with near and fare away – so important, I think even more when there is a distance. This online worlds has given me fantastic connections and I’m so thankful for every one of them. Some are more important than others … but I wouldn’t like to be without any of them.
    Colleen, I have a memory of you commenting about your wish fence – but I can’t find it anywhere now when I’m looking for it.

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    • Viveka, I purchased everything for the wish fence in the summer after reading your post. But with all that happened during the summer I did not have a day to do it. It looks like I will have to do it in the spring. Or, if we have an extremely warm day here (not looking like that will happen any time soon).

      And there are many people here (you!) who I come here looking for. 🙂

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  6. We are a connected world, Colleen, you’re so right. It’s just so different these days, isn’t it? But I really value it, touching base with other people in the world. In a SOCIETY that can be so isolating, and you can be so isolated in it, to be able to reach REAL PEOPLE in THE WORLD, it gives some balance. I really appreciate knowing people from afar, & learning of their lives, ups, downs. Even the passing of Irish Katie, while it’s so public, well, it gives us cause to reflect, to cherish more.

    Great post, Colleen. Touche 🙂

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    • Surely we are connected Noeleen. Isn’t it funny that we don’t need that physical connection? Our words and emotions connect us without even being in the same room let alone the same continent.

      Learning about our differences and sameness is an incredible balancing skill.

      There is so much in our world to reflect on.

      Irish Katie….such a gem.

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      • It is funny yes, Colleen, that we don’t exactly need that physical connection. But it’s true with simply reading & writing. We’re connected that way. Mentally & emotionally connected. It’s wonderful.

        Cheers 🙂

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