I read this article regarding communication for real. Briefly, it’s about the writer explaining the importance of face to face communication that majority has forgotten or avoided, all thanks to the internet and many devices that connects to it. He says because of the means for online communication, people don’t feel the need to reach out in real time and more conveniently shuns the opportunity, probably the matching anxiety, to do so too.
While I understand the benefits of real time communication, say locking of gazes, heart stopping smiles, and possibly rolling eyes too, I tend to have a deep appreciation for online communication. I was actually talking about this to a friend a few weeks back. We were questioning the merits of a connection made online and was asking if the feelings associated with such connections can be trusted since there is no physical association.
Thinking about it, online communication is weird because there is no body, all thoughts. There is a great deal that can be disclosed or otherwise and there is no telling if the words match the actual activities of a person. But being an active person in this third space, I find that there are advantages to this mode of communication too.
For instance, I find it easier to open up and eventually reach out and connect to another through writing. My social skills can be hell challenged so to me, modes of online communication help ease up my guard tremendously and allow me to let people in and even more so than those around or near me. This is something very evident in my blog. Actually, I feel I know some blog friends of mine better than others around me as with my blog friends I know their thoughts and to know them is to care for them, isn’t it?
Which brings us to the more important point: are connections made online real? I have some reservations but I think there’s enough merit on online ties. I’d like to believe that it is not the medium that determines the genuineness of a connection but the openness and honesty that went through it.
It’s important to test this bond in real time though as nothing beats being one in spirit and presence, as the song goes, “Talk and talk is not just talk. Being there is half the walk.” But in terms of the worth of online communications, it has its perks and when harnessed in the right way can build beautiful bridges. It has its dangers and trust may be an issue but these things take time to settle and can be settled eventually.
I guess the best thing to do is have a good balance between relationships in real time and those made through online communication. Best of both worlds, right? Not a bad idea at all.