Wednesday, June 30, 2010

A safe place (sequal to Not Nice)

I've had interesting responses to my post, "Not Nice," several of them by DM. Some say, of course you're nice, because I have experienced your niceness. Others say, I thought you were nice so now I'm worried about wasting your time. Still others say, I'm not nice either, might as well embrace it. For some reason, all three of these responses made me want to clarify where I'm coming from in our relationship, so there can be no mistake.

I love you, I do, and there are some of you that I would go significantly out of my way for, even on something in the "real" world. I love to share your experiences in the moment, offer what insight or comfort or instigation I can, smile at your joys, growl at your frustrations, play with ideas together and spread love and wisdom like a virus. Several times I have turned to this online community for comfort and it was given with generosity and love. Daily, I turn to you for help with my thinking, and you give it kindly and with a kindred spirit. I feel truly alive when I am engaged with you.

You're like the best novel I've read, and it doesn't end, with an ever-growing cast of characters. Because you are real people out there, represented by what you present here, I'm intrigued to get to know such interesting people this way, without bodies to interpret and with the time to have forethought into what is presented and how.

I have a theory, one of many conflicting theories, that the human race is actually a race. We are working, frantically, to capture the totality of the human experience in an unbreakable code housed in an unbreakable atom, before we run out of matter to sustain us. If that theory were to play out, Twitter would be one important key to that capture. So in a sense, you could consider interaction in this world as a spiritual devotion, a contribution to the greater connection and capture of the human experience.

In the real world, social ramifications matter to me, because my work involves influence at the community level. I work hard to find the balance between the guard required to make guarded people feel comfortable with me, and being open and genuine to draw out true spirits from timid hiding places. At home, my family needs my full presence, and I don't get much opportunity to think and feel for myself.

In the virtual world, I go behind the curtain of my pseudonym, and I am free to express and be just as I need to be in the moment. I don't have to be alone in it. If I make you uncomfortable, you are not obliged to respond to me. If I say something that upsets you, you can unfollow me. So I don't have to worry about what you think. I choose to worry about what you think sometimes, but without obligation, our relationship is truly about free choice. Can you imagine what this gift has meant to me?

So when I say that Twitter/Blogging is like Friendship Light, I mean that in the most positive sense. We can interact when it's convenient. We can give only what we want, and pretend we didn't see a tweet we don't care for. We can give support on our own terms, and there are minimal consequences to disagreement. We achieve depth on the essentials by avoiding all the trappings of physical relationships. It's not enough to sustain a person, but it is a significant enhancement in my life, and I think to the world.

So you can't waste my time.

I have many responsibilities in the physical world, but one of the things I prioritize is some time each day in this virtual realm. I like being in the cloud with you - it feels more like home. Thank you for giving me a safe place to rest and be just me.


  1. for the public record: i happen to like your not-nice self. a lot.

    i read what you wrote about twitter (bindu's project), and i'm still working on mine. see the thing is, twitter has changed my life in noticeable, significant ways, and every single time i sit down to write about it, it gets bigger and bigger and i leave the desk for fear of implosion.

    so i guess what i'm really asking is: will you write my piece for me?!

  2. Oh my goodness, I love you both to pieces :)

  3. Twitter has also changed my life in noticeable, extremely significant ways. Many good and a few not so good. I became much more "me" on twitter than in real life. (I think you know what I mean.) {I don't share my twitter user name with ANY family though. Just as I don't share Facebook with anyone who's not related.} I don't often think of how I appear to other people there. Like you, I figure they can stop following me if they don't like me. Even block me if they'd like.

    I kind of OD'd and took a break for the past two months. I have made some tremendous friends. I think I'd get back on more, but I follow so many truly marvelous, amazing, wonderful, interesting, stimulating and/or nurturing people (like you) that I can literally spend hours trying to make sure that I say hello to everyone I care about. It also causes stress because I don't want to hurt anyone's feelings by not mentioning them. Do you have any suggestions/a solution for me?

    Adore you! And who made the rule that we have to be "nice" all of the time anyway? I bet it was a man.

  4. Ah, Dani, advice...well, I can tell you what I've been trying and you can see if there's anything there for you. I keep a private ListWhichIsShort of people I want to reach out to regularly, and if I don't have much time, I only look at that. More often, I look at my public ListWhichConverses, and I interact with whoever is there. If I find myself thinking of someone, I will @ them or DM them, but otherwise, I trust that people know I have love in my heart for them whenever we meet. The rest, I just...let go, in a puff, like fluff from a dandelion. Or something., ;-)

  5. GREAT advice! Thank you, dear. *big squishy hugs* and *mwah* (kitty claws retracted)


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