Yesterday, my wife said something striking about living in a city: “I feel anonymous here.” It was both a good and a bad thing–good, in that friends and family weren’t constantly getting in your business. But bad in that you didn’t feel like a part of any kind of community. You’re a little bit faceless, especially in a place like the D.C. metro area, where most people are transplants from other parts of the country, just here for work, and for a limited period of time.
I’ve writtenbefore about how it’s been difficult for me to maintain relationships with my old friends as an adult, especially now that I’ve moved over 400 miles from home. It’s proven to be even harder to make new friends. Hence the importance of social media. It can make you feel less lonely and provide a valuable connection, but is it the same as flesh-and-blood relationships?
That’s what I get into in this short video: What am I doing here? What are any of us doing here?
I think the Internet has proven to be a “town common” of sort, given that most towns and cities don’t have any such areas. Nor are we prone to trust each other much as of late. Even in the workplace, everything feels so mercenary. Connections with like-minded people are important. And thanks to technology, we can meet these people thousands of miles away.
We’re living in a weird time in history. Even two-hundred or so years into it, the industrialized world is strange. Better use the tools we have to make it more palatable.
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