The majority of people like some in close interaction and some that is more distant. At times the meaning of physical closeness is emotional and spiritual – we show our affection and closeness by being close and often, also sharing resources. Other times, what we experience is more like alienation from those who are physically near to us. In such conditions some people just read, but the Internet – like telephones and magazines, let alone books and TV, permit people to create links based upon personal preference more so than by what may feel like pure happenstance.
Many people experience such things during their teen years, but sometimes middle aged people feel it to, even within their own marriages or if their children pull away.
Connecting to others through ideas and common interest groups is natural. The Internet is very limited in contrast to the full depth of ways that people can help one another through working as teams in person. At the same time, forums and Facebook posts provide people with real interactive options and over time, when people bother to, we/they can get to know one another well.
Authors are amongst those who use the Internet. It is also meant to be a tool that creates leverage for those who cannot travel much, or for those who do not have as much money to spend on travel.
In reality, I have used word processing and email since the 1990s, albeit inconsistently. Right around January 2003 was the first time that I ever landed a writing contract using the Internet. Many more years later, in 2010, I was still using the Internet to find more writing contracts and still using email and word processing but then – suddenly in a nation which I had only ever visited before “as some German guy’s girlfriend and then wife and then baby mama & friend”, I started using Facebook and got way more into trying more of the interest groups – some professional writing groups, and other social organizations that have some connection with me.
In some ways, I feel that like so many others, I have been learning to realize how it does and does not work. I have decided that it is mainly like using the telephone in the old days. In that respect, it really does not satisfy me the way that meeting in person does, but then when I have met people in person who I had met online if anything they turned out to be very much who they had presented themselves as being online. This may seem silly, but we are all this real.
The Internet really is interactive when we use it that way. It does also sometimes cause events. These can be local – like with MeetUps groups or school chums using it to plan and then meeting up nearby in person. “Or not”. To be truthful, I think the closest to where I live the person who contracted me for a writing deal has been from 2003 to April 2012 was 300 miles. Mmmmkaaay. The greatest distance for writing contracts so far are the ones from Indianapolis to Kuwait back in 2007 and getting a novel picked up by a publisher in India while living in NWest Germany in 2011. Yee-haw! Now, maybe India is closer than some of the people I’ve done work for in the USA.
The point? Our minds are affected; the interactions are real and yet, it is like long distance calling in that, we can’t meet up in person for lunch when it is long distance. However, in the old days we might have assumed that we couldn’t help each other with work or with mating and dating. Nowadays that is often still true, but more and more we still can.
The other point? I like to know people in person, so for me, the Interact activity is often a compromise. I like it much more than being completely left out, but I had not meant to have to rely on it for a personal or even professional life.
Well, we’ll keep learning as we work with it. To the best of my knowledge between when I first moved to Germany and now, about 18 months, using the Internet I have communicated with about 1200 people. I am trying to not count every single person, so much as people I interacted with through a group where something actually happened as a result: in some cases I submitted a story, or landed a contract – though I have yet to land a good job using the Internet, or met someone out, or really learned more about a group or topic of interest….Of course that’s just me. Some may have only dealt with 200 people and others 10,000+. I think it has something to do with “participation”.
As always, you are welcome to comment! What’s your experience using the Internet for marketing and personal business communications?