24 October 2007

Networking Neverland

photo by me old mum... Oregon Coast Aquarium

One of the reasons I continue to make zines despite the ease and accessibility of media such as this here innernets blog is that I still appreciate good hard copy. Obviously, just because someone has the means (or nerve) to self publish a book, release a CD, photocopy a zine or whatever, it doesn't mean the finished product is any better or worthier than anything in the virtual world. But I do appreciate people who take that extra step to make a unique and tangible 'product.'

The blog world has opened doors and empowered a lot of people to express themselves. It is pretty amazing to check in with people's random musings and creations each morning with your coffee and oftentimes make meaningful 'connections' with these people. Yet, it has also spawned a lot of ridiculous drama and posturing. The instantaneous nature of virtual communication is both a blessing and a curse. Less and less consideration is taken before criticism and careless retorts are slung through the fiber optic ether-ways. It is all too easy to create an 'online persona' with a tremendous amount of false self-confidence. This bollocks isn't real. It is a tool.

I worry about Myspace and Facebook and all that shit and the connections people think they are making to each other. I wonder why someone who hated me when I was fifteen, now wants to be my friend seventeen years later. Fuck You.

Maybe its OK. Maybe community really is being created and meaningful relationships are sparked. But when we know less and less of the names of the people who live within walking distance of our place of physical residence, I just don't buy it.

The more I travel and the smaller the world becomes, the more I feel we might be better off never leaving walking distance of our homes. The planet would certainly be better off if we all learned to live off our immediate and reachable land base. I received a letter today from my friend Saeed. I haven't received a personal letter in years. It is hard to describe the feeling of seeing my name and address written in someone else's writing sitting in the letter box. I still haven't read it. But when I do I know it will hit me harder than the last dozen emails I received.

I'm loosing more faith and interest in modern convenience. Just yesterday, I ripped my cell phone to pieces. Sure, it was a childish hissyfit thing to do but I've fantasized about doing it for so long. I was having a conversation with a loved one that we should have been having face to face. It reminded me of some people I once knew who could barely talk to each other in person who tended to fight and make up with multiple phone calls throughout the day and then return home to each other in silence.

We hide behind technology. It is easier to pretend to communicate through a technological interface/filter. (Of course the written word, art and even language are also filters but that is a conversation for another time) It scares me. I am glad I have this medium to express these random thoughts to the six of you that might be reading this far. I'm glad for your readership but I'll be a lot gladder when we are sitting naked on the beach. Our cold arses sinking into the wet sand...

...just chatting... or not...