As all who know me well are aware, I’m awkward in society, deficient in small talk, and negligent about keeping contact with friends and family. I believe that for some years at least some of my friends and relatives were sure that I had died — but I was just in Texas. Letters, telephone calls, and visits to kith and kin were sadly few and far between. Then “social networks” came to my rescue.
First there was email, then “listservs”. And through these, discussions with old friends now far away and with new friends met through common interests. But the flow of email became too much, consumed too much time and effort, and I gradually withdrew from active participation.
Then, some time last year or so I got an invitation to join someone’s professional network on LinkedIn. I thought about it for quite a while. Did I really want to publish any personal information on the Internet? Well, of course I already had (here). But somehow this new thing seemed different. I did some searching and discovered that several people whose judgment I trusted were already on LinkedIn. So I joined.
Then, last fall, I started thinking that maybe I should have a blog. People I knew had blogs, and surely I, too, had something to say. We were in transit at the time (a story I plan to tell more fully in the near future) with little time for writing anything, but I went ahead and created this blog, anyway. Then, of course, I couldn’t think of anything to say. The blog just sat, empty, like all those sheets of paper I was going to write or draw on, all those letters that I never got around to. Until January, when I finally decided that I had to say something, no matter how stupid it might seem.
In the Spring I got an invitation to join someone’s network on Naymz. I thought about it for a little while, resisting the idea, but eventually joined that one, too.
And now, just in the past couple of days, I have joined Facebook and Twitter (and let myself get tricked into joining MyLife).
I don’t know where all this is leading or what it all means, but several of these actions have allowed me to rediscover a few old friends who had drifted out of my life at one time or another. This is a good thing. Now I just need to keep it all going, and keep up direct contacts with people who are actually where I am. And maybe relearn how to write a letter.