Yesterday a dear friend of mine arrived from her travels abroad and while we were all sitting around one of us picked up a her laptop and it was contagious. All three of us were sitting in the living room playing laptops.
While we were playing we interacting in monosyllables and barely conversed… Until we stared to chat online. We had a hilariously ridiculous time chatting, commenting, speaking, typing. It was quite pathetic, but we enjoyed it. In fact we had a blast. I don’t know why typing your words and responding online seems to add an element we lack, a courage, a silliness, an element of humor that we seem to lack in reality.
While we were online I had a little fit, related to another virtual reality. A family member, my mother, is now online. My mother is not computer savvy or internet friendly. Finding a friend request on Facebook from her stopped me in my tracks and made my jaw drop. MY MOTHER IS ON FACEBOOK. The world is changing and the few vestiges that keep the generations apart are being torn down. My online world which is very separate from my family life is now being invaded. This is a part of me that yes is partially public but not something I perceive my family being active participants in. It’s weird.
I think the way we interact with the people around us has changed drastically and that includes our family. Our public persons are those online as well as offline now. Our interactions are virtual as well as physical. I don’t know if I like those ideas. It’s a bit sad that sitting in a room we need the aid of computers to talk and that a family member will get to know parts of me through a virtual tool rather than through conversation; or is it?
I don’t know, the jury is out on that, but I do know it is a different world than that of 5 years ago even and a drastically different world than 10 years ago. I wonder how the future generations will interact with each other 10 years from now?