Tuesday, February 20, 2007

long time, no post

Wonder what keeps us writing and wanting to be visible in this space that has no boundaries other than the ability to access and use a computer. I realise that the impulse to put the freewheeling movements of one's mind on to a screen is not as strong as I had expected when I first signed on to this thing called a blog. The conversations I wish to have happen in real time and with people I can see and hear and touch. But the excitement of being online is just the opposite...who knows what strange turns on the bylanes of the Internet will bring friendship to you?

Conversations in chat rooms that were once simulations of social spaces and then substitutes for social spaces, and now are social spaces in their own right. I hear of young people who 'meet' online and then progress to intense conversations where they move into private areas of chat rooms and then, offline into real spaces where the relationship might take on a 'really' serious nature. What are the expectations that are built up through words on a screen in relational terms? How do these expectations fare when selves move from being things constructed of words and perhaps a few photographs, to flesh-and-blood and all else that physical presence brings? Is it similar to what happens when we hear a disembodied voice on the telephone, when we conjure up an image, a body, that we think goes with the voice? What qualities do we ascribe voices and words that are borne out (or not) by physical selves?

These are some of the questions that plague me as I think of you who is reading this (more often than not someone whom I know in 'meat space'), you whom I have not seen or heard, you who are a presence that comes to my words by way of a mouse-click...