I am amazed at how many different ways there are to stay connected with people. When I was a kid, we had telephones or we could go and see someone. (I know. I'm old. Telephones in my day were stuck to the wall with a cord. You could only move as far as the cord stretched. We had one that stretched really, really far. It was awesome.)
Now, if I haven't talked to my sister in a while, I just jump on Facebook and see what she's up to. I can read the blogs of family, friends, and any old random person on the internet. I can hop on Twitter and see what some celebrity is doing at any given hour of the day. And now, yahoo and google are getting into the pie, too. With so many ways to keep track of people, I find myself missing the first and fundamental version: face to face.
My little brother is a young, single twenty-something. I was amazed to discover that he had an entire dating relationship over text messages. They would sit in the same room and have their conversations with their fingers. This would have been understandable to me if they had been speaking in sign language, but text messages? Really? I miss the idea of having a personal and meaningful relationship with people. At the same time, there are some really fabulous people I have met over the internet that I would never have come across in person.
This is a hard thing to balance, I think. I know that as someone who wants to be an author, I have to utilize these online methods to at least some degree. I need a presence that is recognizable and approachable. Figuring out how to make something that feels less personal than what I am used to become personal is a good goal for me. If I can do that, it will definitely help my writing. Connecting to people I don't know through my words is what I'm trying to accomplish.
What do you do to make your social networking more real?