Missed Connections

It isn't quite that I'm inauthentic on the web. It's just that, like any medium, it squashes people so that their dimensions fit into the medium. And when other people take what I've squashed myself into, and then try to rebuild those other dimensions, they inevitably end up filling in the blanks with what they want to see (good or bad). That's what's so frustrating - the gaps between what I'm able to share and tell about myself and what I'm not.

Twitter is a stream of my interests and what I consume, but doesn't get to the heart of matters. Though you may know through it and Instagram what I ate for lunch everyday, the reality is that humans like to believe that we are more than just the sum of mundanities of our lives. And while there is a sense of closeness in knowing this, that sense of connection lacks the depth that true story-telling, of the "How was your day?" variety, seems to have. Unless you are Alain de Bottom, being able to paraphrase your thoughts and sling them out into a vacuous unresponsive twitterverse is both a feat of incredible introspection and courage. 

Tumblr, on the other hand, is not a place for my thoughts and feelings. Tumblr is about my feelings, making them trite and contagious. There is a beauty in the way that I suddenly feel like a small point in a mass of humanity, the kind of thing you feel when you live in a city like New York. But, the things that I would like to lay claim to as being original and my own are things I'd rather keep to myself, for fear of being misappropriated: taken through the odd contraptions that make up other peoples' brains, the gaps in what I meant and what I can say filled with whatever they'd like to think. Sometimes it feels as if the reblog button is a building machine that strips something of its' meaning with each iteration. 

A few days ago, I had the pleasure of having a "real" conversation with someone who I suspect has never seen what I've written or thought online, a discussion of biases and values (one and the same, perhaps) and connections and passions. Conversations are such an interesting thing, increasingly missing from this thing we call the social web. And yet, if we are ever to get to know someone, we need to start by building the kind of relationships where we can extrude these missing dimensions out in the right direction, and the only way that that happens is by listening, questioning, and quietly building up the deep knowledge of truly knowing someone else word by word, exchange by exchange.