My “Online Life”
My online life is not at all extensive.
I have no online “home” like many people do; I rent one where this blog lives, or more precisely, borrow it, since I pay no rent.
In spite of this I have myriad neighbors and acquaintances and even a few good friends in this “world.”
I come into it almost every morning. I open my doors and windows and see who’s around. We may just exchange quick greetings. We may stop and chat for a few minutes, finding out what’s going on in each other’s lives.
Then there are the ones I particularly look for every day, the real-life friends as well as the ones I’ve gotten to know here in this world, the ones who come into my heart and stay there.
I have no clandestine life here; I use my own name, I am who I am, however uninteresting I may (or may not) be. A few years ago I would never have expected to have any kind of life at all here, yet somewhere along the way my obsessive, introverted nature hooked on to the new possibilities of communication and creativity available in this world, and here I am.
Could I live without it? I’m sure it would be hard for a while, having gotten used to it, but I don’t think it would be a major deprivation. I would hope that I would keep writing, keep in contact with people I care about, keep taking photos, keep learning and growing.
But I think this world has led me to grow in ways I might not have without it. In retrospect, who can say what might have happened, what we might have been, if such-and-such had not occurred?
I do believe I probably would not be writing if I had not, a good number of years ago now, been involved in an online fan group and started writing fan fiction. That resparked my long-dormant interest in and love of writing, and from there I learned to create my own characters and situations and to develop my own style. I probably also would never have the nerve to share my work without the various online writing courses and communities I’ve been involved with, nor would I have developed friendships with other writers as I have.
The topic is a two-headed monster for me. In many ways I’m still a Luddite. I think fondly of the days of paper and pen. I dread the disappearance of books. I think many people are too attached to their screens. Yet I can’t deny the things that have enhanced my life, either. Word processing, email, Facebook, and blogging have all made my life easier in some ways and richer in others.
I just wish there wasn’t such a rush to make everything that came before obsolete. I’m afraid technology develops much faster than our ability to make intelligent use of it and to know what things truly make our lives better and which only make them more frantic. (No, I don’t own a smartphone.)
Now it’s time to go read a real paper-and-print book. The online world will still be here tomorrow.