I don’t think connections via technology are easy unless you work hard at the discipline of connection. That said, they have all the possibilities (and many of pitfalls) of F2F (I couldn’t help myself, face-to-face) conversations.
After yesterday’s musing, I called my friend Lorraine. Our lives have been more apart than together, and yet our friendship has been foundational to both our lives since it started 44 years ago. When we get to be together, sure there’s catching up to do, but mostly it’s about refamiliarizing ourselves with one another’s physical presences… noticing how we’re aging. We’ve been apart during one another’s cancers and the deaths of our parents. But we’ve never really been far from one another. The telephone, the internet, and maybe facebook (because Lorraine is slow and cautious on FB) are what we have. To label it “not enough” would mean that we would have to let go of the friendship. Because I’m probably not moving to Sweden any time soon and she’s probably not moving to Lewisburg.
So it is what it is. We have what we have, and we can revel in it, or release it. Nope. not letting go.
Here in Central PA, there are religious sects who refuse technology because they feel it interrupts community. One the one hand, I completely understand what they’re talking about. They live slowly. Chores are shared and lives are lived in tandem. (and from what you see at market, there’s no shortage of cake!). I understand the allure of such a life, but for me, that’s a harkening back to the past. I’ve always been more interested in figuring out how to bring the past into where we are. Because you can’t really stuff progress back into a bottle. It happens and it’s both enriched and impoverished life.
But it’s up to us, it seems to keep it rich, isn’t it? So If FB or Skype or even that old telephone is what we have, let’s use it. Let’s enjoy one another. Understanding the importance of friends and friends everywhere, allows us to make more friends. It allows us to stay connected. Cherishing those connections hopefully helps us keep reaching out.
One of the telephone companies’ ad used to be “Reach out and touch someone.” Yes, indeed. Do that very thing. Call one another consciously. How do you stretch your circle? How do you convince yourself to make time for Peace? Because Peace is a slow process.
We need to make the space. We need to use the tools available. The world depends on us. So does Peace — slow, connected Peace.