In a previous post I shared how much I like the online social world, especially the ability to stay connected with L. at school.
L. left for college two years ago and it was admittedly an adjustment. We are among those that prepared and rationally understood it was time for L. to move out and move on. We were not prepared for our own emotional adjustment. This particular upheaval happens to enough parents that it has a name; Empty Nest.
Instead of an occasional phone call or possible letter the Internet allows us to continue to enjoy the conversations of shared interests. Sending links and talking through messages about what we've read or found remarkable has been a salve for our Empty Nest journey.
One such item L. shared recently is the article, I’m still here: back online after a year without the internet. The author took a year 'offline' unplugging all electronic devices. His expectation was to return to the 'real' world and reconnect, something he did experience in the first couple of months. By the end of the year, though, he came to a much different conclusion.
He discovered that living offline felt as though he had "fell out of sync with the flow of life." His final assessment was this, "What I do know is that I can't blame the internet, or any circumstance, for my problems. I have many of the same priorities I had before I left the internet: family, friends, work, learning. And I have no guarantee I'll stick with them when I get back on the internet — I probably won't, to be honest. But at least I'll know that it's not the internet's fault. I'll know who's responsible, and who can fix it."
I encourage you to read the whole article thorough the link on the title above. I found that he made his point most sharply when talking to his young niece. He asked if she ever wondered why he didn't Skype with her like she did with her grandparents. She replied, "I didn't think you wanted to."
Who you are; your personality, your quirks, your manner, what you value and what you don't is the same in the 'real' world and online. Connecting with others only happens, online or off, if you make the effort to do it.
I admire the author's intent and appreciate his insights. Having come from an age when the 'real' world was all we had I think he is right on target.
I'm a fan of the internet and all the joys and pitfalls that it brings. There is so much more that needs to be done to make it safer and more secure all while the technology changes at lighting speed but I'm thrilled to be along for the ride.
What are your thoughts about life, online and off?