Monday, July 21, 2008
Both are Transformed
"The meeting of two personalities is like the contact of two chemical substances. If there is any reaction, both are transformed." -Carl Jung
I meant to write a well-reasoned, yet passionate counterpoint to Graham Wegner's posting about the "point" of online social interaction.
By citing "leading experts" on cyberspace, and quoting scholarly studies, I had planned to explain my intensely emotional response to meeting some of my virtual friends face to face in San Antonio.
But I'm tired, my summer schedule has been at least as hectic as my school schedule. So I'll settle for a personal response.
My online connections are invaluable for extending my professional knowledge. I'm able to access a rich assortment of resources; there is help available if I run into difficulties; sympathy and encouragement are only a keyboard away.
I want more.
I want to see and hear and interact with a person, in real time, in physical proximity. I want to observe expressions and body language, to share a hug and a joke. I want to follow a conversational thread where ever it might lead, and make startling discoveries or not.
I want to made the virtual "real".
My online, real time friend, Terry Shay, blogged about Friends today. His wife remarked that he really didn't know me, but she's wrong. We know each other very well because of conversations and interactions in cyber space.
I have close friends now who are scattered around the globe. I firmly believe that one day I will meet many of them face to face. That doesn't negate the value of online collaboration and social networking. It enhances it immeasurably.
"There is an electricity about a friendship relationship. We are both more relaxed and more sensitive, more creative and more reflective, more energetic and more casual, more excited and more serene. It is as though when we come in contact with our friend we enter into a different environment.” –Andrew M. Greeley
"Net Surfers don’t ride alone." -Smith and Kollock, Communities in Cyberspace
"spark" by Burning Image