Today ScoutieGirl posed an interesting question about how the internet shapes and changes our creativity.
She and I seem to agree that, like all things that are woven to the human form, the Web has the innate ability to remind us that we are alone in the universe.
She asked: “as sister diane pointed out last week over at make & meaning, we are bombarded daily with loads of input from our digital lives that has the potential to build up, entertain, and inspire. and yet – are we making the most of it? are we better off because of all this input? in many ways, yes. in many other ways, no.”
My reply was:
I like to call that special feeling that Facebook gives me “iso-nected.” We are connecting ferociously to cure us of our inherent isolation. But it’s a facade of connectivity, and another way to run around asking myself: “Who likes me today??” in the form of mentions, comments and DMs.
Sadly, it is the same moment of clarity I felt on I-35, back when I was still pre-cellphone, but others were starting to fall hard.
I was driving in my car and would see people “talking to themselves” (that’s how I perceived it at the time) and I thought: “Man, are they so desperate and lonely that they HAVE To talk to someone, even in the few minutes in the car from work to home?”
“Are they so afraid of their own thoughts?”
Later, of course, I became that same person. I have call mom. I have to call Colin. What is for dinner? What time are we meeting?
We have all became that person in the car.
We are desperate for self-meaning… and the internet is a great place to pretend we are looking for it.
It is infinite, bottomless and filled with other lonely souls we remember, we forgot, those who are drenched in the perfume of our past — our sweetest selves, our purest loves. We find new friends we don’t know and old friends we’ve forgiven because we didn’t expect to see them again.
All of whom we love to chatter with. Why? Perhaps they just seem very very familiar.