If it’s anything about people important in our lives, it’s worth thinking about not just once, twice, but a hundred lots of times.
My friend recently had sessions of heart-to-heart talk with her leader. One minute she’s laughing, another she’s crying. Being friends online enables her leader to get to know her more–not just the logical side and the good side–but also what goes deep inside her. These are things left unsaid but showing subtly in the back scene, like being implied in a wall post.
One line in a few seconds. One line, but sometimes it reflects more than what three hours of light conversation over food could simply give.
My “Almost Best Friend” and I could talk about almost anything, from prof’s to crushes to acad’s to dreams to petty wishes. But when last Saturday I unintentionally hurt her feelings, talking about it was hard. But thanks to Yahoo messenger, we were able to chat about it while struggling over a communication blog. Good enough, we were able to resolve the issue before the day ended. I wasn’t able to finish my communication blog, though.
There were many times that the Internet “buffered” my relationship with people dear to me and kept those relationships from being broken. Or nurtured a growing relationship. Or gave emphasis on a dwindling one, so that I could devise more ways to rescue it.
Basically, the Internet complements my interactions with people around me, even people across the globe. I can reconnect, chat, share memories, post what I think or feel, and give my comments. But what about giving someone a wide smile? A warm hug? A pat on the shoulder? A chuckle? A sweet whisper?
You could do
🙂 😀 ;D XD *hugz* lOl …. and a whole lot more.
But without the personal relationship, even imagining the person doing so becomes difficult. One still needs that physical interaction for a strong foundation for a relationship. One still has to feel the warmth of that smile, that tight hug, the comfort that comes with that pat on the shoulder, that amusing sound of a chuckle, and that sweet whisper in the ear.
For me, the Internet can only be a complement to our existing relationships. Great relationships can start from online beginnings, but online relationships cannot stand on their own. We cannot stay behind SNS accounts, code names, avatars and the like forever, no matter how much we reveal of ourselves online. Besides, what we reveal online won’t have much meaning if the viewer cannot interpret it using any background about the real us. There has to be an avenue for physical interaction.
Sometimes, it feels so cheesy to be relational. But one of the things I treasure most is when, even though I am far away, I can connect real time with my loved ones, and, even though I am far away, I can imagine so vividly Jen or Karen or Pam laughing out loud (not just simple letters staring at me blankly)–and cannot keep myself from laughing hard, either.
(Btw, thanks Internet for allowing me to stalk my crush online–though that does not mean I can escape stuffing myself up with courage and a smile whenever I come to meet him in the hallway. 😀 )