I did it. The Wicked Witch of Hyperfriendship has been writing her message across the electronic sky and I have finally succumbed. Anyone who read my previous blogs about the pros and cons of joining Facebook will note that this has long been in the works. If I’m to keep offering workshops, performances, writings, I simply have to take at least some of it to where the crowd is hanging out. And ain’t no doubt that Facebook and such is where it’s at. So I aimed to get on during my recovery from hernia surgery, a clever strategy to feel some instant TLC from just about everyone I’ve ever known and keep me entertained during the long, slow days of healing.
Once again, I am astounded by this network, the rapidity of response, the number of people worldwide connected electronically. 12 hours after signing up, some 400 friends showed up at my electronic doorstep. Of course, it’s a delight to just see the names of so many that I’ve crossed paths with and following the Six Degrees of Separation, I’m getting hooked up with some intriguing and dynamic artists whom I’ve never met. It’s quite a party and overwhelming at first, trying to circulate with drinks in hand to touch base with each. After the initial thrill, I imagine it will settle down to the human proportion it has always been. But meanwhile, the opportunities for networking with like-minded folks is extraordinary. So why am I complaining about Wicked Witches and Hyperfriendship?
Well, I’ve been through it all before. The line between connection and distraction is a thin one in our mediated world, distinctions between breadth and depth of connection are worth making and really, nothing was broken that needed fixing. I like the way I connect with the people I do connect with— playing music, laughing, biking, going to the movies, etc. and though I’m sometimes disappointed by small audience turnout at the few concerts I give, my workshops are full and I’m thrilled that some 60 plus people seem to be checking in on this blog. It’s enough.
But the right tool for the right job and being able to post photos and videos instead of send them painfully slowly over e-mail is a perk. The energy of folks gathering in the electronic meeting room will be fun when I need it and if I don’t, why, I guess I just won’t log on. And it would be really fun to hear from some old childhood friends or distant girlfriends from another lifetime. Or not.
We’ll see how it plays out. Meanwhile, the blog will blog on, I still know how to dial a phone, e-mail will still work for both business and contact and I’ll still enjoy walking side-by-side with friends— that is, when I can walk again! Time for another pain pill.