Can the Internet bring us closer?
I have always thought the idea of social connections on the web, not facilitated towards meeting or calls but strictly web based relationships were of a very peculiar nature. We share confidences easily, form what seems like close connections and by the nature of some of these sites like this and flickr immediately have commonalities. And I do enjoy the conversation I hold over time in sporadic and asynchronous manner with the people I have met at these sites. And I do feel a closeness with a number of people that I have shared thoughts and ideas and debates with. I care about what others have to say and I pick my words carefully when conversing. I do feel close to some of my contacts, but is this a relationship. I can say I know what they look like as many do self portraits like I do and they share bits of their lives so more than some people I meet in real life I know them, or I should say you. I have met two people from flickr that I have actually conversed and we got to know each other a little bit in real life. But when I went to the flickr get together that is where I met one guy who was already a contact and I was looking for him. But I didn't speak to many others and when I looked around the social clumping was pretty static, didn't seem to be that much mixing though this may be a projection of my own social anxieties.
Now on the other end of the spectrum is the phenomena in Japan of young men who live in isolation connected to the world primarily and for the majority of their time strictly through the Internet. They seem to have the right to exclude their parents from their space and due to the high income levels the parents support them. It got to the extreme that one guy kidnapped a young women and held her for 9 years in his room. Now it seems from my reading that this was reported but somewhat exaggerated by the press but yet it still exists and it seems not only in Japan. In the US we call them social misfits and geeks or nerds etc. And funny now I am starting to read about anti social networks that are arguing against the growth of the social network as undermining true social connections. But at the same time it may be that the next generation is just connected in ways that are more seamless and permeates in ways we just can't keep up with. And that the connections are being facilitated in ways that just aren't apparent yet. I am going to keep an eye open on this.
Although I enjoy looking at stuff here and on flickr I still feel the need for putting my work up in some physical location for people to see printed. There is something about seeing my stuff printed up in large form and mounted on a wall or in a public space that excites me more than some abstract number of hits even when the hit number both makes me happy or depresses the hell out of me when it is low.
ta ta for now