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I Dreamt of this Long Ago - nhpeacenik
I Dreamt of this Long Ago
When I was in first grade, I had a recurring dream in which I lived in a cubicle (the concept of cubicles had not yet been invented) with a two-way TV to communicate with the outside world (my family had no TV or electricity in our house at the time).  In the dream, I made friends with people I never physically saw or touched, but who were real friends nonetheless. (Does this sound familiar to anyone out there in two-way-TV land?)! Another recurring dream was loosely associated with that one: I had volunteered for a solo submarine exploration expedition and was saying goodbye to my neighbors and family "for the good of science" or maybe "for the benefit of the whole human race" to go visiting whales and dolphins.In this dream, I experienced an almost-sexual sense of pleasure at the prospect of being out-of-communication. Sometimes the dream started out as one of these and transformed itself into the other.

This morning two of my radio co-hosts were chatting on the air about their relationship to the world of the internet and social networking. One said that although he had worked for years as a computer programmer, he had become a technophobe and now refused to use the internet (which is a little frustrating for the other co-hosts, who have to prepare CDs of material from the Web for him every week). He said he had just convinced his girlfriend to take her laptop back to the shop and remove all communications capabilities from it, turning it, as he said, into a glorified typewriter. I could relate to his feeling that, with the internet, we are constantly distracted and prevented from seeing the amazing world right around us, but I had to say that for me, a sensitive and heartfelt approach to life is very much enhanced by using the new technologies.

The other co-host said he had just opened up a Facebook account and was trying to understand what people liked and found useful about Facebook (so far he had not found much to like). In his case, entering the world of online social networks was part of his job: he needed to know about these things to further his work as a cable-TV producer working with urban minority programmers. If he had asked me, I would have recommended MySpace, LiveJournal and Last.fm over Facebook, but mainly I would have discourged him from embarking on this stuff with a heavy heart.

My feeling on hearing this conversation was mixed. It always seems a great tragedy to me when I, or someone i care about, does something as a grim duty. I'm selectively involved in web-based social networking because I love the people I have met here; I look forward eagerly to seeing what my friends are doing and sharing my strongest and most creative inclinations with them. And the biggest but least-often-stated fact is that I prefer the company of my soul sisters and brothers scattered throughout the world to that of most of the people I spend my time around daily. I haven't found that I enjoy cell-phone and text-messaging/IM/Facebook/Twitter culture, but deep, long-form social networking seems to be my childhood dream come true.

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Current Music: Naomi Bedford, "One of a Kind"

1 comment or Leave a comment
pirate_moo From: pirate_moo Date: January 22nd, 2009 09:56 pm (UTC) (Link)
I DEFINITELY think the internet is a blessing! Yet I certainly don't disregard the world around me. Like you said, I've met so many amazing people through the internet, particularly LJ and Myspace. And whilst it's tragic when people spend literally ALL their lives online (like some obsessive people who play that online game... Second Life I think it's called?), I don't think I could do without it now! XD

Interesting dream too! Almost a premonition! XD

Edited at 2009-01-22 09:57 pm (UTC)
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