Monday, November 24, 2008

Online Communications, Communities, Communing

Living her Moxie Life, Jackie is talking about all the ways of communicating online and asks:

So, what about you? Where online do you find real depth? Are you a gadfly running to each new thing? What community online feeds your soul?

I'm glad she asked. I've been meaning to blog about this.

First, I must admit:

I am addicted to Facebook.

Once again, I have learned the lesson that one must not mock, because you will become, or begin to do, what you mock. ("Oh, those silly people who win the lottery, what a bunch of prisses.")

Waiting, waiting ... okay, moving on.

I mocked those who Twitter. What egotism! Who wants to know what you're doing every second?

Meanwhile, I signed for Facebook, after being urged to by some seminary friends. And found more of my friends on it. Then found high school friends on it. Then figured out the whole "updating your status," thing.

I'm twittering ... on Facebook. Especially when we're at the hospital. "Liveblogging the hospital."

And I love, love, love reading the minutiae that makes up my friends' lives. This one is about to face the diaper pail, that one just won an SCA honor, she's about to go perform a wedding, that one just made 3 dozen cupcakes.

Okay, that last one was me.

I love that Facebook is as much or as little as you like. I can see what's going on in my friends' lives, without being obligated to respond, like with email.

Email ... ugh. A boon AND a bane. I really, really am not a friend of the phone, as my friends will tell you. Maybe in a few years, but for the last 10 years, me getting on the phone is a call for children to come running, needing water, paper, a referee, a video, an audience. If one can be agoraphobic, but just via phone, that's me.

So in that way, I love email. When scheduing speakers, I don't have to leave a message, play phone tag. I send an email and when that person checks their email, they respond.

Yeah, but there's the rub -- "Respond." People email me and then of all crazy things, they want me to respond. Does that happen to you, too? And the emails add up, because I really want to follow up more on this one, or save that one, or ... well, you know. I'm not the only one.

Jacqui recommends that we narrow our online communication to three modes, which happens to fit what I do. My third is blogging. Happily, she didn't recommend we limit ourselves to only one blog.

This is my main blog. It's an online version of a Pensieve, where I can dump my thoughts, opinions and the like. And in its connection with other blogs, a community has formed. I've blogged about this before. The whole blogging experience continues to fascinate me. How people whom we've never met "in real life" can know more about our thoughts through our blogs than people who see us every single day.

I have the Love Through Action blog, which was meant to be a place to post the good deeds that people did in LW's honor, but along the way, became a bit of a video blog about LW.

And I have a blog for friends and family to be able to follow what's going on with LW. If you have a family member going through a health issue, I highly recommend having a blog where you can send everyone, like carepages.org or caringbridge.org. Cuts down on the phone calls for status reports.

Still and all, now that LW can go out in public, I'm looking forward to being able to have coffee with friends. But when we couldn't go out and were for all purposes in reverse-quarantine, blogging, emailing, and facebooking kept me connected.

Heck ... it kept me sane.

3 comments:

goodwolve said...

Hey, thank you! This is super - Three, it is the magic number. And we are totally phone phobic. We never answer our home phone. Ever. Cell, I have to - if I didn't I wouldn't.

I won't mock you about Facebook - it is fun and slight (no depth and sometimes I like it that way.)

Christina said...

ooooooohhhh i'm so addicted to facebook.....statuses and scrabble! ack! I can't stop! lol

Erin said...

Thanks for mentioning CarePages.com as a way for people to communicate with friends and family when a loved one is facing a health challenge. We hear from our members how helpful the service is and our goal is to make sure no one has to face a health challenge alone.

We're also on Facebook and Twitter. Please join us there!