Remember “Tyler, you are by far the most interesting single-serving friend I’ve ever met…” ? Here’s a hint (like you needed one – but since I’m a “visual” person, here’s the pic to set the mood :P):
Nowadays we have the “part-time friend”.
It works great, you don’t have to do much, you need a basic internet connection and a messenger, forum, mirc, hub account or the like. What to talk about ? Doesn’t matter. By the way, have you seen the latest Harry Potter movie ? Yeah, thought of going too, just didn’t have who to go with. So, what’s up ?
It never ceases to puzzle me how easily (compared to “face-to-face encounters”) it is to talk with people you’ve never seen or seen once at most. Everybody obviously has the same need of relating, of communicating, but it seems everybody preffers to do it sitting comfy in their armchair in front of the pc/apple/phone (or maybe iPhones, ya maniacs :P – there’s no telling what people use nowadays to stay online – might as well be the fridge).
It’s interesting how detailed and spontaneous some discussions get, you begin to talk with the other person like you’ve known each other for quite some time, and when you get to really find some things you’re both interested in or have similar ideas, wow. Magic. What is really interesting however is what happens after (it’s sometimes something like “the morning after” feeling, after a one night stand). Everything returns to normal, casual hellos, how-are-yous, let’s-see-who’s-onlines. Till the next time something out of the blue happens again, I don’t know, stars aligning maybe, and you are old friends once more :). This is why it’s a “part-time” friend, since it’s not “once-on-a-plane” thing.
Sad thing is that in time you begin to get online just so you won’t feel lonely, even if you don’t talk to anyone. Knowing that you’re “connected” makes you feel good, just knowing that there is a possibility of talking with someone. It’s so easy to see why MMORPGs are so successful, everyone wants to be sorrounded by people. Even if they have pointy ears (I wonder if racial discrimination will develop in WoW :))). These days small children have blogs, as Andressa writes. It’s just a matter of time until we’ll all be plugged in 24/7.
Or maybe we’ll become something like Asimov’s Solaria, a planet inhabited by human colonists that resent phisical contact so mauch that their society only functions through holographic viewing of the others and, after many millennia of isolation, they have evolved into hermaphrodites, able to procreate by themselves.
But maybe beer will save us from damnation :)) If you ever need one reason to go “close and personal”, beer is the way. You can never fail with a good pint. After all, beer has been helping us make friends since the 7th century BC (wiki),
or as it is said, “in vino veritas, in cervesio felicitas”.
P.S. Did I mention that beer also improves the creative process ? :D