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Monday, September 26, 2011

Connect for?

Recently a huge theme that I have been seeing is this cry for community. People screaming that there is this deeper need for us to connect as a people, and to share in a culture we wish to endure. Though in this day and age I think that perception has shifted. We talk about being connected, and working with other people. Yet each day our understanding of connection shifts. The basis on which we judge our connectivity is entertaining to say the least. There are those car commercials that make me smile every time I see them. You know the ones were the kids are discussing the lack of social life they perceive their parents as having.

Recently I have seen people concerned and worried about friends on their Facebook. People talking about privacy and sharing. Other people talking about things outside of the electronic medium in regards to people coming together. The trouble I see with it is that there is no balance in our perception and the sense of what was community has evolved into something less connected, and more connective. Moments of exchange have become shorter. Intimacy is shifting to moments on a text message, or the brief physical encounter. Intimacy no longer has that deeper quality of more then a moment, rather sharing in a moment is now the standard.

Community has become a resource, something that you draw upon, rather then something that draws upon you. Now I know I am self centered, but please do not confuse that with being selfish. I know that I am the center of my universe, but so are you. In being social our universe's should collide and mix. It is that sharing of perspective that truth can be found. Yet we look to it as an experience that is all about us. We look at what we get out of each action rather then just enjoying the interaction. Ask not what my country can do for me, has turned into I expect my country to listen to me.

We limit our interactions to those that agree with us, because we no longer see the value of conflict. We pull in and shun casual conversation with strangers. We look to our relationships as to how they can physically benefit us, but ignore the simpler rewards held in human contact. We limit our growth and learning. You gain more with each perspective shift. You learn more and get more out of life the more you really understand what community is. Seriously when have you done something for your community recently that had no benefit or reward in store for you, outside of simple interaction.

That is my task for you. I am no proposing some bleeding heart program like a pay it forward thing, but something much less complicated. Just go out and be with people with out thinking of what it will do for you. Go out and share with people that do not think just like you. Go be with people that challenge you to be better, and stop looking for the angle. Stop thinking about what your tribe can do for you. Step outside yourself and look at the big picture.

Try seeing something, one thing, anything, from somebody else's perspective. Connect with the world around you, and see the value of just being human. Enjoy communication for what it is, and relearn what it actually means to have a friend. You know that person you chased tadpoles with. Someone that shared experiences not status updates. Someone that told you when you where fucked up. Someone that gave you a hug, rather then a thumbs up or the like button. Share in a status update, rather then reading it from the safety of your couch or desk. 

1 comment:

  1. It seems we are on the same page for the most part. Except I don't see FB as a community, but rather an illusion of one we participate in because it is safe and easy. You cannot have community unless you show up and are present.