26 March 2007


They say nothing takes the place of a face-to-face. I'm starting to see that's true. The thing is, for all the people you run across and network with, everything is meaningless if your lives never physically cross paths.

I'm starting to wonder at this pseudo-reality we've created for ourselves, that somehow online friends are better than the ones in front of us, or that we can say things to strangers we can't say to family.

It's a strange thing, that we would trade the beauteous splendor of an intimate moment with a friend for three hours in front of a monitor.

Nothing too profound here. I could make it interesting. I could talk about how we treat God the same way...shoving him aside for worthless idols -- just as we shove off a real relationship for a false one.

Not that there isn't any sort of commonality, camaraderie, or true friendship there. Certainly such attractions and affections are present, and real.

But sometimes I can't help but wonder if it's a bastardization of the real thing. I mean, is there a reason we're so uncomfortable with "online buddies"?

Sure, lots of good things happen. Most people are introverted, socially awkward people hiding behind a monitor -- and one day they'll learn they're lovable too. But more often than the predators, I think I've started seen another kind of trend: the trend to not speak.

This trend started with cell phones and email and TV and picked up with text messaging, video conferencing, and instant messaging -- all nouns that have become verbs. Figure that one out. (Hey, I'm still an English major; get over it.)

And so we went through the automated tellers and telemarketers and so on until, quite frankly, it's all become a farce. A freakishly obnoxious farce. And the stranger thing is, some people will like it; others will hate it; but no one will do anything to change it.

Interesting, hm?

So, if anyone actually reads this, chime in. What do you think? Of course, there's a good chance I just offended you.


Kare Alethieas said...

No, no offense here. But you've got me thinking...as usual.

It is interesting. Yet I see it all around me...and in me. I do it all the time. Having been one of the odd ones out at school most of the time, the brainiac of the group, behind the computer screen its seemed like you can just talk, and people will talk back.

But I know exactly what you're talking about. I'm going to have to think more on this.


Kare Alethieas said...

An add on to my last comment: Mind if I quote this post?

Remade Gold said...

No, go ahead.

Kevin said...

I think the Internet creates a strange dichotomy. on the one hand the anonymity allows people to speak much more freely than they might in the real world but it also keeps people from being held accountable for their words and actions. Someone with a good poker face can lie to you and you might never know and this is a similar situation but with a more level playing field. As in the real world people should be judged by their actions.

To The Point said...

How interesting. Offense, perish the thought. I was once a weekly nespaper editor.
Some just don't want to really get involved with someone up close. They may say, "I had a friend once, and he/she hurt me. So I dare not ever get that close again."
Most of us would rather not speak to someone, unless we have to. We don't know what to say to someone who is different from us.
Therefore, it is more comforting to set in front of a monitor and fantisize friendships, or more lustful persuits.
How many people have you sat next to on a plane who planely did not intend to speak to you. I always get the other variety.
You think, Kaci, so you will scare hell out of a lot people. Not the folks who read your blog, though. They are asking for it and they know that.

Michal said...


You have said what I have been trying to put into words for...a long time.

Once again, you hit th enail on the head. But in some cases, waht if you -can't- meet because of distance or time? Do we then drop the friendship? That seems just as wrong.


Crimsonking said...

No offense Remadegold. As usual you say it the way it is. Bows...

nate said...

This post is exactly what I've been repeating in our little discussions... but what's your conclusion?

Remade Gold said...

Yes, I know, Nate. I'll write up a post following this one up.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Michal, you may not be able to see a person face to face (web cams don't count) but you can still have a friendship with them. It just takes A LOT more work. It relies mostly on phone calls and text messages and occasional emails. I put phone calls and texts first because with those you can have a real-time running conversation with those (yes, I remember the practically real-time emails we've had).

There's still a downside to having long distance friends. The lack of commonality. You can only talk about the weather, the latest WIP and your favorite author for so long. You need the framiliarity of mutual friends and experiences that you don't get when you are hundreds of miles apart.

There's my two cents, there's pros and cons for both sides, just long distance takes a LOT more work and effort and both parties need to want the relationship to happen, otherwise it just dies.\