A Test Week

There are two sides to the current phenomenon of electronic communication.  One, do email, facebook, IM, text messages bring us closer together because we have more access to communicate with one another?  Two, do these technologies put up walls between us because we never actually speak to one another?

I think the answer is yes, to both questions.

I found myself hiding behind email last night and today, in a conversation that I was hesitant to initiate.  The fact that the conversation wasn’t a big deal and I had nothing to be afraid of doesn’t really matter.  Nor does the topic of the conversation.  The point is, because I have the convenience of email, I didn’t bring up the topic in person.  I actually said in my email, “Do NOT encourage this habit!  DON’T answer my questions!”  🙂

I won’t call if I can text.  I won’t text if I can email.  For some reason, I want to get as far away from real communication as I can.  It makes it easy to avoid true intimacy with another person.  I don’t have to find the right words, in the presence of another person.  I can take my time and edit until it sounds just right.  I can sit in front of a complete, typed email, and think about whether I really want to bring up the topic of conversation, and take advantage of a momentary impulse of courage and hit send, and then it’s done.  In a real, face-to-face conversation, the courage to start has to happen at the beginning.  In email format, you can have your thoughts organized before you approach the need for courage to send it. 

On the other hand, I adore email and texting for practical reasons.  We can communicate with each other within our individual schedules.  You don’t have to stay up late in order to communicate with me.  I don’t have to stay home from work in order to communicate with you.  I can be crazy busy, and my day will still include a few minutes to read email, if not respond to it.

This blog, too, is affecting my life.  I blog instead of sleeping, sometimes.  It is 10:13 p.m. right now, and I could really use a loooong night of sleep tonight.  It would be good to find something to wear tomorrow, something to take for lunch, maybe clean up around here a bit.  But no, here I am, spending a half hour or more writing on my blog.

The fact is, email is a part of our lives.  I can’t go a week without email, and I won’t do it even if I could, and I don’t need to.  What I need, in terms of email, is to conciously decide to have face-to-face conversations about things that matter, whenever I can.

Blogging, however, is completely optional.  You probably know, I’ve been considering the purpose and importance of this blog for a long time.  So, I’m going to take a “test week.”  (Have you ever seen the episode of Dharma & Greg where they put “test holes” in the ceiling, to see where the best place for a skylight would be?)  I hope this “test week” will show me where in my life this blog belongs, or does not belong.  Today is Tuesday.  I will not update my blog again until next Tuesday.  Let’s see what happens!


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Betty
    Nov 19, 2008 @ 21:55:46

    I already miss you!!!!!!


  2. Becky
    Nov 20, 2008 @ 14:41:36

    Not updating for a week? That’s a shame.

    I hope you’re getting a lot of full nights of sleep 🙂 I don’t even remember what a full night of sleep feels like anymore! 🙂


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