Monday, March 23, 2009

Reaching Out

So a friend of mine recently talked me into getting a Twitter. I'm not sure why, and I don't think I'll actually use it, because the idea of shrinking down anything of consequence that I ever have to say to 140 characters is rather daunting. But it started an interesting conversation that I have been pondering ever since.

Why is it, in this day and age, that we seem to have this fixation with putting ourselves out there on the internet. Through blogs, twitter, facebook statuses, myspace, etc. so many of us just throw ourselves out there for the world to see. I mean, the entire idea of Twitter is to let people know what you're up to. It made me wonder why we have become so obsessed with letting people know what we're up to, and how we're feeling, and why we care.

I think it's because we all want to feel like someone is listening, or like we are a part of something. We want to feel like we are noticed, and we want to believe that we matter to someone. Maybe blogging, or facebooking, or twittering is our newest way of reaching out. Maybe it's just our way of saying "Please, someone listen to me."

We all have a lot to say. Even if you don't think that you have a lot to say, somewhere inside, you do. And you can't say it all out loud, and you can't say it all to people you know. They'll judge you, they'll look at you differently, they'll offer you advice that you don't want to hear. This isn't always true, but it's the way that we all perceive things sometimes. So instead of saying it to the people around us, we throw it off into the vastness of the internet, hoping that eventually, it will ricochet off someone else who will understand and we won't feel so alone. Maybe it's just a longing for connection, and for understanding. Maybe we want to find someone with the same problems we have, because we no longer know how to fix them. Or maybe we just want someone to share in our happiness without making them feel bad. Maybe we just all want a little attention.

I know I personally have a hard time keeping my emotions to myself. I tend to wear my heart out on my sleeve, which gets me into trouble a lot. A lot of times, I blog about things just because when someone agrees, or offers advice, or comfort, I don't feel like I'm the only one who feels this way. And logically, I know I can't be, but that doesn't make it any less meaningful when someone can step in and put an arm around your shoulder, whether literally or metaphorically, and say "I know how you feel. It will be okay."

So, if you're here, you have a blog. What else? Do you use Twitter, or Facebook? Do you make honest updates about what you're doing, or do you use it strictly to keep in touch? Do you think you use it to reach out to others?


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