I've been trying to cope with the recent death of a friend's son. It's hard for parents to bury their children, but I've also feel the echo of that when I have to witness the burial of people I call "kids" even if still only in my heart. Guys in their 20's don't like being called that... go figure. ;)
I've spent the last several hours on my computer with the last stop being my PictureTrails account. I had an art piece that needed to be uploaded, but when I did that, I saw that they'd added a "home page" feature.
There's something meditative about tinkering with account settings trying to get it to look the way I want it to. In the Pre-internet days, the same state was usually achieved through the TV or quilting or baking or carving.
But, I did set up a HomePage there. I don't know if I'll keep the page up though. The social networking option is the piece that I'm not too sure of.
I have some of the Best Friends that God put on this planet. I also know a lot of other people who fall somewhere in the continuum between "other people on the planet" to "Friends and Family." Too, I seem to have some people who think we're closer than I think we are. Not that I begrudge them however they perceive our connection, just that it seems to be different from my perspective.
So, I'm not sure if I want to have the option in my life of people I don't know and people who don't know me being able to create links to me.
Not that I think that using the Internet isn't a viable way of connecting. I've made some friends over the years of being wired. But, just as "Real Life" friendships were formed, Online Friendships came about as we chatted and learned about each other no matter what it was that made us first cross online paths. I don't become acquaintances with everyone who's path I cross and few of them eventually become friends, regardless of whether that path was the concrete sidewalk or the amorphous strands on the online web.
But, I've spoken with students who've told me that they have over 200 friends on their various online social networks. Do I know 200 people? Probably. Do I have 200 friends? No.
Last year, I had volunteered to staff an event for work with the understanding that I wouldn't be doing it alone. But the day before the event, I found out that no one else had stepped forward. Before too much time had passed, I found 2 Friends who said that they'd join me even though they didn't work at the same place and didn't know what they'd be asked to do. I mentioned to someone else that I had 2 friends who were going to be helping me out. That person responded with, "Lucky you! I don't know anyone who'd help me out like that."
The rest of the day, the phrase "How sad" kept echoing in me. And how glad I am for having the Friends that I do have.
So, I'm not going to become friends with everyone who leaves a note for me there... or here for that matter. Only the Future knows what's in store there.
Tonight, I'll close with the piece had submitted to the Munson Williams Proctor Arts Institute's Summer Sidewaok Art Show. Tomorrow, I'll be posting my thoughts on the first debate between Michael Arcuri and Ray Meier assuming I'm not too tired from the trip back from Oneonta.
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