Monthly Archives: September 2010

Family, friends, and

Family

For those of us lucky enough to get on with ours, the family is an extremely important thing – they comfort us when down, they support us when uncertain, and they fill our days with the feeling of belonging. But, what of those who don’t?

It seems to me that there are more and more broken homes and “extended” families and whilst this is not a judgement, we must ask, why? Is our individualism so strong these days that we can’t live with anyone?

We are not individuals, we are all part of the same construct; what you do affects me, what I do … you get the drift! So from where is this malaise we have in the world today that we only care about number one? Is it greed, fear, ignorance?

We can’t go on in this insular, superficial way, grabbing at anything shiny and caring nought for our neighbour. Well, we can of course, but what will the future hold if we do? Are we not nearly at breaking point already, with our discourteous drivers, our disenfranchised wanderers, our violent youths with no future prospects unless they’re at Her Majesty’s Pleasure?

Come on everyone; share a little, take a little less, eat what’s in your bowl, extend a hand like your family members would for you.

晴 雲 法 声 seiun hosei _/|\_

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Unfriend me – go on, see if I care!

Virtual friends!

We gather them, we add them up, we proudly tell those around us about them, but actually we don’t know anything about them! Is this, perhaps, how we like it. I mean, we are in control; we decide if we continue or not! Is it that that gives us a thrill, that makes wading through the platitudes and senseless twittering palatable?

We scratch our voyeuristic itches from the comfort of our iPhones and decide, god-like and omnipotent, who we “like” and who we dump.

Dita Von Teese; world-famous model, ex-celebrity-wife, avid twitter-er; we can be kept up-to-date with her travels and latest photo shoots but if we decide we’ve had enough…CLICK! She’s “unfriended”!

Steven Fry; humorist, author, actor, director, quiz master and general know(ledge)-it-all, mega-twitterer, quasi-god for many and discretely famous-homosexual; we can follow his every waking moment, be privy to his psyche’s wavering fragility but!!! when we’ve had enough rubbing shoulders with the heavenly-one…CLICK! Goodnight Vienna (or should I say Oxford?)

At school we made friends, fell out with friends, made enemies who turned into friends who fell out with us again and then maybe even married. Perhaps all of this turmoil put us off the authentic connection-with-people thingy. It’s just so much easier isn’t it, to read, write, comment, complain, judge, and yes…unfriend, CLICK?

Obviously I’m speaking from the pulpit of my MacBook or my iPhone – ever the consummate geek – and maybe this is a bit contradictory but shouldn’t we be out there “being” with people? Why do we prefer to do it all from the comfort of our living room couch?

Is the number on our twitter account more important than “real” people? I notice a proliferation of sites promising instant mega-numbers of “follow-backs”, sites promoting immediate “un-following”, of people openly asking for “40 more people so I can reach 2000”, of bios stating “I follow back”! So to answer my own question; yes, size does matter Dorothy; for many, the number on the account is all important.

What we also see is; unbelievably bad spelling, radical grammatical errors, (e.g. MOMS TALKIN ABT SHE WANT ME TO HAVE A LASANGA MADE BY 2 . IMA STILL BE IN MY DAM BED); holier-than-thou pontifications, endless repetitions of something someone else said – #quote, and this thing (which admittedly I don’t understand) of putting x at the endx ofx everyx wordx! Or dooubliing ceertaiin letterrs! Some of the communication styles are very interesting but the form is more important than the content which is at best vapid and at worst vulgar.

In this ever more individualistic, consumerist world of ours were what you have is more important than who you are, I wonder if we can ever get back – back to original self?

晴 雲 法 声 seiun hosei _/|\_

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