The Friended

 

Doodles by Heather Plett

 

 

A friend is a gift you give yourself. ~Robert Louis Stevenson

 

 

 

 

Do you know your neighbors? Do you know your FB friends and twitter followers?

Can we really know them? Are we really connected to them in ways that matter?

What do we owe friends and what do we owe the friended?

I have been struggling with these questions and exploring them all year long.  I have committed to real life -real time- phone conversations with some of my twitter followers.

Trying to build community that is more about connection than connectivity.

Community is real…whether it is up the street or on twitter.

All community has value.

Community -virtual or real- allows you to be more of who you are. It allows us to be more peaceful or aggressive.

Our choice.

The online community  is nuanced  and  has no definitive answer. It is an opportunity to explore the gray.

Borders and boundaries blur or become crystal clear.

Complete strangers reach out to support one another all the time.  They discuss important social and political matters. They chat about their day. They discuss hopes  and dreams. They find words of support.

They come together in meaningful ways.

They also humiliate and mock  one another.  At other times they  ignore or ridicule you….. yet  thanks to Google I know  more about you then you may want to share.

Virtual communities share both joy and suffering…judgement and justice… and  lots of AHA moments all in one place.

How much of yourself do you have to share, with whom and why? 

Do you know your neighbors? Are you concerned about your neighbors, friends and followers?

Online connectivity changes the way we communicate, organize and build community.

It changes both the friend and the friended.

 

 

 

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