Friday, April 8, 2011

Followers, Friends, and Pen-pals

I’ve been thinking about this a lot, lately. How social networking, well, maybe even just the ease of the internet has changed the nature of friendships, acquaintances, work partnerships, etc. Most of my friends live far away now. I’ve got one in India, two in California – and one of those I’ve never actually met in person *waves*. You see, that’s what I’m talking about. Today, it’s possible to make great friends without ever meeting them in real life.

The way you communicate is just a little different. There’s less room for subtlety. You have to be blunter about your thoughts and feelings, which, I don’t know about you guys, but I find it actually kind of freeing. There’s less opportunity for those silly games people play that were always supposed to end in high school (but never do). You don’t have the luxury of facial clues to tell you how someone’s feeling. You can’t judge tone of voice from an email. So you have to pick up subtleties in other ways. Through an emoticon or two, and through their writing. Perhaps this is a writer’s dream. I’ve always been better at expressing myself through written word than in person.

I’m not really sure what my point is, or if I even have a point. I just think we’re lucky to live in an age where all of this is possible. What do you guys think? Has twitter/facebook/email changed the nature of relationships? How do you feel about it?