I have decided not to post the first version of this post. It dealt with connections and relationships in terms of Facebook, and it was long. Facebook does have implications as a connective relationship “tool,” and it was of some value to me to take stock of my Facebook friends, the highly valued connections there, my perceptions of others’ use of Facebook, and more. In the end, I have decided all that was of little value to anyone else, though, so I’m not posting the whole thing. The excerpts below, about 1/4 of the original, can serve as a prologue to the next post that will include a relatively transparent poem.
When Facebook came on the scene, new possibilities for connection arose. I myself was a little slow on the draw but once asked a close friend to show me the merits of FB. Soon after, I signed up and began to use it. I had long been one to reach out to connect and reconnect, and this was a tool that could be used toward that end.
. . .
From my vantage point, the primary reason for FB is relationships with people (not faces). There are relationships undergirding it all.
. . .
Some share personal things, including health-related situations, and that can connect us with one another’s struggles despite physical distance. Being a somewhat private person, I tend not to share much personal stuff very often myself, not wanting to appear to be crying for help or publicly revealing one of my many weaknesses. I acknowledge, though, that what I might find borderline inappropriate may actually indicate strong senses of relationship for others.
. . .
Some, ostensibly the “FB introverts,” like to keep their lists relatively small, while others have thousands of “friends.” One personal friend I was fairly close to for about a decade only uses FB for family. Others, such as yours truly, have little to no family as FB friends. This might seem odd to many, but less than 3% of my FB friends live within an hour of me.
. . .
Facebook cannot by itself satisfy the need for relationship; it is but a fragment of a vast matrix of varying levels of connection in today’s human existence. Connection . . . and distance. Yes, distance. I can sometimes scroll through my FB feed and feel almost isolated. I don’t have values similar to a lot of people out there—perhaps even the lion’s share of my own FB friends. We all have some background, mutual friends, or some other connection—musical and/or Christian and/or school-related or what-have-you—but people travel their own paths. . . .
I could write of telephones and Bluetooth while traveling, of letters and e-mails, of visits and wished-for visits—and regrets about visits. Each person has his own set of experiences, of connections, and of distance, whether they are all recognized or not.
Relationships are funny things. Relationships can be the glue of life or a daily curse—and everything between.
~ ~ ~
Soon I’ll share a transparent quasi-poem (chiastically arranged! . . . that’s especially for the few friends with whom I’ve connected deeply around scripture). I’ve been stressing over sharing this poem for a couple of months, and I’ve been slow to post it because of thoughts of . . . you guessed it: relationships with others.