I’m not sure when it happened but it sure did. I find myself discussing the ‘other’ world with people. The world of Twitter. The world of Facebook. YouTube. Blogs. Sharing the digital world. It’s the unknown that reaches with wretched arms for a soul-consuming embrace, absorbing buckets of our time, our hearts, our aching need to participate and belong. It’s creating an entirely new existence. A mysterious, strange experience wholly new to all of us.
I come from a very small town. Some people say it’s just past the end of the world. The internet has connected this world to so much more. There are joys in discovering new things that weren’t available before. Finding new music, man, finding new, awesome music. Finding new books to read. More commentary from people out there that are really doing something. I think one of the most appealing aspects is that things are being created with intensity and passion. It’s information out there for the world to consume. Ideas, experiences, concepts.
It’s still scary as hell.
Two years in Japan created many new worlds for me. It was an experience unlike any other. Nothing I’ve done in my life, nothing I’ve practiced, thought about, twirled around, could have prepared me for what happened there. Well, I guess the reality is a bit less dramatic, but you get the point. It was different and I adapted to my situation the way I thought best. But now I’m back and things are the same and different. The view of the internet is different. Let me explain. For two years I existed socially on the internet and had little to no meaningful conversation with a face-to-face person other than my wife.
Now I find myself with an influx of people to talk with in real life.
The fear is almost debilitating.
But not as much as the internet.
Every like fills me with dread. Every share, a freezing stare. The retweets debated for hours. Save it and come back later. Leave the tabs open. Look at it again. Deliberate. Examine. Consume more. Forget. Every click a new door to a new environment, traveling around the world at the speed of a magic mouse flying on the invisible airways of invisible threads flowing all around us.
But we love it. I love it. The addiction to the information becoming the drive to wake up in the morning and consume more. Learn more. Share more.
We’re born so much in a world fully integrated with the environment and now that there is another option to which our attention is necessarily diverted. Ignoring one at the behest of the other results in a diminished experience within both. I guess we just need to find the fulcrum where we can feel comfortable in both places at once.
It really does enhance our experience. I just need to find the balance.
And that’s that. A pep talk designed to ease myself comfortably between these two worlds.