Pondering you

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.Β  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

πŸ™‚Β  πŸ˜€Β  ;DΒ  XDΒ  *hugz*Β Β  lOlΒ  ….Β  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. πŸ˜€ )

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10 thoughts on “Pondering you

  1. The Internet opens a lot of venues for us that enable us to build and strengthen relationships with people we really know and get to see in person, and even those we can not even imagine we’ll end up being friends with.

    Although I agree with you that definitely it has a lot of applications where we could talk to our loved ones, it can also serve as channels for miscommunication not only between people involved but also people outside of the issue since we can make everything public. The question is where and when is it just to publicize our emotions and when is it inappropriate? It’s essential to ponder upon these things before we “internetize” personal issues. After all, even applications which are supposedly private like PM on YM can enable users to easily cut and paste (AND SCREEN CAP) even the most sensitive conversations we have to the public. eeek :-S

    1. Yep, you’re right, Ellis. πŸ™‚ For me, FTF is still the best channel for talking over personal issues. The Internet is a mere supplement. When the issue’s as important as our relationships with our loved ones, we just can’t let others meddle with it and ruin everything. πŸ™‚

  2. Apart from being a complement, I’d say that it is a supplement to our existing relationships. We see them in school, we talk to them on the telephone, and we comment on their Facebook wallpost. We see their status updates, we see their newly posted pictures… But I guess, we should still be wary of the fact that some people see social media accounts as a way for them to escape reality — a venue for them to be someone who they wanted to be, something far from the real them. But at all means, friends are still friends. Whether we do not have a Facebook account or we don’t have cellphone load, it does not erase the fact that you have built and nurtured your relationship with that person. πŸ™‚

    PS: I look forward to another prayer session with you. πŸ™‚

    1. That’s the sad truth about these people who cannot face reality as it is and choose to escape it by hiding behind avatars and SNS accounts. But as real friends on the lookout and as Orcom students who, according to Anne C., are communicaton specialists and are experts in establishing and maintaining relationships, I believe it is our task to let these people know that there is more to life than the Internet. And what’s more, there is a Solution to all those reality issues that they’ve been trying to run away from.

      *Sure. Set the date. πŸ™‚

  3. I can’t thank the internet enough for helping me maintain relationships with people who are dear to me. Actually, I got closer to my relatives abroad through the internet. I can now share my little secrets to my older brothers, one thing that I cannot do face to face.

    But just like what you said, there are limitations to what the Internet can do for us. And sometimes, I feel more frustrated especially when I can see someone dear to me crying in front of the webcam. If only I could hug them!

    (I am surprised that you mentioned your crush here. haha. πŸ™‚ )

    1. that’s a cheesy comment, Jen. Well, we’ve got a lot to thank the Internet for. πŸ™‚ More so, thanks to that Someone who gave us this tool just so we would have no reasons not to keep up with valuable relationships we have, even with those so far away.

      (Surprised? Well, New Social Media simply enables us to do so many things. πŸ˜‰ )

  4. Hi Keren. πŸ˜€ Is this the post you want me to read? Hehehe. πŸ™‚ Do I know the person you are referring to at the beginning of your post?

    The internet may seem to reach the whole world but on a specific note, it has its limitations. I agree when you said that it can start out relationships, but a real quality relationship could not just be maintained using the internet. There must be a personal touch into it.

    But I believe, when one is just true to the other, whether through net or physical availability, he or she could be able to touch the life of his or her friend. Reality check, we live in a very busy world that sometimes we don’t have enough time to spend with our friends and loved ones. But thanks to the mighty internet that saves our relationships once in a while. πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€

    1. Right, you DO know that person. haha. πŸ™‚

      True. I just didn’t know how to stretch my schedule with all the deadlines, meetings, and can’t-do-away-with bonding moments with friends and loved ones, if not for the help of the Internet. And I really believe you wouldn’t know, too. πŸ˜‰

  5. Hi Keren, It’s true that internet really helps us narrow the distance especially for people we don’t get to see very often. I love catching up with my gradeschool and highschool friends online. But for people we see everyday, I think that we should still prefer the face-to-face interaction because sometimes, the internet doesn’t really express our real feelings. When we talk to our friends face-to-face, we can communicate even with just the look in our eyes or our expressions. I think that is something that the internet can’t do for us. πŸ™‚

    1. You’re right, allen. Whenever there’s an option between FTF and the internet, it’s always the best choice to go FTF (and more fun, I bet. :D)

      See you around in school! πŸ™‚

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