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Wednesday, May 28, 2014

We're a click away...

I began blogging to think aloud.
And to discover the bigger world around me.


We moved from a big city, Los Angeles, where neighbors hardly saw or spoke to each other, to a small hamlet on the Oregon Coast where neighbors know each other, where walks on the beach means meeting tourists as well as locals; where a stop at the post office to pick up mail is an opportunity to catch up with the town's gossip wheel.

Somehow, though I don't receive mail anymore from friends or relatives (excluding special occasions) I marvel at how much I know about them through the social media outlets we subscribe to. Facebook lets me keep in touch almost instantaneously, drop a congratulatory note or ramble about my hobby horse without interruptions, and at the end of the day, when I see that a friend from work I have not seen for decades likes my post, I feel re-connected to my old self.

What is even more remarkable is the connection across time and space that none of us would have predicted. Recently, I met a young student from England, researching her grandfather's life. She saw a name on my Memoir blog she recognized from a signature on a portrait her grandfather had left for her painted in India during WWII. 

She emailed me, wanting to know if that artist was the relative I had talked about in my memoir.  

Serious research may have to go different routes; more scholarly routes are available through university and government institutions. But common folks with common curiosity can certainly feed such curiosity with just a click away.

We can live anywhere in world; purchase goods from anywhere in the world; work in the privacy of our living space; and on a day when we want to talk/skype or connect in real time with a loved one we can phone, text, leave messages here and there and in no time we are back together.

It sure beats sending a note in a bottle, or mailing a flimsy air-mail letter that might take months to get across the ocean.

14 comments:

joeh said...

When used with restraint, technology is a wonderful thing.

Beryl Ament said...

I do regret not receiving mail any more. So many of my memories are wrapped up in envelopes with news inside. Exam results, college acceptance etc. But now I notice how scrappy some of those official documents were in those days of typewriters and mimeographs. So I will settle for "social media", a phrase I really dislike. Facebook has been wonderful and I am prepared to live in the present! I welcome it.

Brian Miller said...

there are benefits to this connection...we draw the lines between us all the faster....its just up to us to follow and cultivate them...

Helen said...

I marvel at how connected we are today and could never have imagined this twenty+ years ago! It took three weeks for my postcard from Barcelona to Bend to arrive!

Marty Damon said...

You're right, Rosaria. I can't imagine going back to a time when I'd just sit around wondering about something, and then dismiss it, forgotten. Now I whip out my phone and answer the question on the spot. My daughter received a phone book in the mail the other day, and the grandboys were fascinated, asking "what's this?" and "are we in it?"

Hilary said...

We live in very interesting times.. times which have changed so much in our lifespan. Who knows what the future holds. It will be even more exciting for the next generations.

Linda Myers said...

I love the connections. I feel surrounded by friends, longtime and recent. I moved a lot until I was 50, and it's so easy to keep in touch these days.

The Broad said...

It's good to see something positive being written about Facebook. I am now far more in touch with friends and relatives than those long years of being totally reliant on 'snail mail'. Of course one much use some wisdom when active in social media, but for so many of us it really has been life changing to be able to 'see' and 'hear' with such immediacy .

Tom Sightings said...

It is amazing, isn't it? I love email; I love google, and blogger too! But sometimes I do wonder about facebook -- too much of the same thing over and over again. And I still don't "get" twitter. But one thing's for certain: more to come.

Rubye Jack said...

I also love the Internet and being able to answer my own questions in a matter of a minute or two. However, I worry about losing this connection with the new proposal where ISP's could set up fast lanes where you would have to pay for a speedy connection.
I don't miss mail at all and am just as happy with an email as a letter. Probably happier.

A Cuban In London said...

I was thinking the same thing the other day. We're one click away from each other but are we any closer? I mean, as humans, are we closer to each other? Or is technology also making us distant at the same time that it's bringing us together. It sounds contradictory but the bloke on the train doesn't interact with anyone else except with his friends online. It's an irony, I know, but maybe that's the price we have to pay for our interconnectivity. Wonderful post.

Greetings from London.

Becky Jerdee said...

For all the irritations aboard my Windows 8 computer, I am still thrilled with its connectivity!

Maggie May said...

Modern technology is marvellous for bringing distant friends and family closer. However, I do miss handwritten letters and airmail blue, flimsy letters that are all filled with out of date news. Maybe because I don't do Facebook, I'm missing out.
Glad you have found a way of keeping in touch with all your acquaintances/friends and family.
Maggie x

Nuts in May

yaya said...

Technology at it's best. I do enjoy Skype with my Sister and Mom and my Kiddos in Oregon! I love finding out news so quickly, but I have to admit...a letter or card in the mail is so refreshing. I'm printing out letters my Dad wrote to my Mom during WWII and hope to have them put in book form...again, technology at it's best! Blogging has been fun and I enjoy the folks..like you...that I've met in cyber form! Enjoy your week!