Beautiful Disconnect

Sometimes online communities seem big, something you can get lost in, something that’s very real. Like what happens with a good video game or book, there’s a whole new reality to get absorbed in. Other times it seems small. Just a little screen and the words I put onto it. It’s easier to write when it’s just a twenty-two inch screen. There are no people to think about, no feelings, no empathizing.

Just me and my words. A beautiful, sacred disconnect from anyone that might read.
It’s not just a shift in perspective either, it’s more like they’re completely different states of mind.

Getting absorbed in it is overwhelming, and the other, the disconnect, is solitary, sometimes lonely. But it’s also liberating. It feels good to feel alone sometimes. It’s part of why I write, to have that distance from people, to connect with them and to be known… all while staying an arm’s length away, always out of their reach when I want to be. Not tied to them, or tied up by them.

Some people love the online communities, the conversation, the friends. Personally, I love the impersonal nature of it all. Sure I’ll reply to your comments and yes, I generally appreciate it when someone takes the time to write one. But one of the biggest reasons I like the connection between a reader and a writer is the distance. I think it’s important not to just ignore the people who take time to read what you’ve written… certainly not when they’ve taken the time to reach out and connect with you, whether it’s in a big way or a small one.

The point is though…

I can go for a week without responding to a comment and no one sensible takes offense. They don’t take it personally. People that let me have my distant connection without bitching at me for it… I don’t find them outside of writing. At least not often.

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11 thoughts on “Beautiful Disconnect

  1. That’s lyrical in a way I really like. It’s also true, beyond just the fact that it describes something personally about you. But writing is by nature solitary, unless you’re collaborating or are Harlan Ellison. People who don’t enjoy solitude can’t write, no matter how strong their desire to write might be.

    Liked by 1 person

    • “How often have you collaborated on writing? I never have and therefore don’t know whether I’d enjoy it.”
      Not very often at all, and not under this name. I could probably count on one hand the number of worthwhile collaborations, and I think probably the most important thing is to work with someone that’s on the same ‘wavelength’ as you when it comes to what you’re writing about. There’s different ways to go about it to though, so that might not even be necessary. I don’t think I’ve ever done anything where it’s broken up between different parts, each part written by a different person… Really I think it just boils down to how open you are to the idea of shaping your work to fit with someone elses, and/or allowing them to make changes to your contribution. Especially if it’s their idea, or on their site. I tend to get a little irritated when someone messes my work by changing the wording or the rythm (which is purely a personal hang up, tbh), most of the time, and I don’t usually like altering other peoples work, so generally I just steer clear of it anymore.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. This is an interesting point. I have been bedbound for the past 3 years, and have been dealing with disabilities due to my hip pain for 5 years. I lost all of my friends because I couldn’t do anything. So I made friends through fanfiction, and they are more real to me than any other friends I’ve had. It’s a true soul connection. I’ve been able to visit a few of them and some have visited me, all the way from Europe too 🙂 We Skype and send each other gifts at Christmas. We talk about video games, our families, life, writing, health issues, and everything in-between. When things go wrong they help hold me together when I’m on the verge of breaking. I have never had friends as amazing as the ones I made in the past five years. That’s one of the good things that came about because of my health issues.

    I have other friends on the internet who feel more like acquaintances. I’m not super close to them, but I enjoy them. I guess I think of them differently than the close friends I have. For me a friend that I’ve made over the internet feels as real as one that lives close to me. It’s all about connecting on a deeper level. I have two best friends in particular that I met through fanfiction. They are like my better halves. I could not imagine more amazing friends than those two. And they have continually helped me be a better person.

    I do like alone time though. If I socialize too much I get emotionally exhausted and don’t have as much effort to do things like writing. I love to talk though, lol. I took the Myers-Brigg personality test and I am an INFP. If you don’t know what that is here is a helpful chart from Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Myers-Briggs_Type_Indicator#mediaviewer/File:MyersBriggsTypes.png Apparently INFP’s love to socialize with people they know, but they can get exhausted easily, and then they withdraw into themselves until fully recharging. That’s very much like me. My two best friends are INTJ’s. They are my logical better-halves. My emotions are so strong that it helps to have friends that are ruled by logic and not their heart. I’m an introvert with strangers but an extrovert with friends, if that makes any sense 😛

    I guess I strayed a bit from your post 😄 I like online communities because it helps me as a writer. I like to talk to people about writing. I wrote fanfiction for 5 years and my husband hated when I talked about it 😄 So it’s cool to find others that share a passion for writing. The most rewarding aspect is the soul connections I make every so often. I don’t set out to do that. It just happens sometimes. Kind of like people who date for fun, but then they unexpectedly fall in love. I guess that’s how I approach online communities.

    Liked by 2 people

    • That’s definitely an angle I left out in the post. I don’t think I’d go back to include it because despite my own connections to people online… I stil cherish the disconnect. But I do have a few genuine friends I keep in touch with, under a different name. In fact one of them died of brain cancer back in May and the sites we conversed on feel a lot emptier without him around.

      I really like what you called it, a “true soul connection”. That’s the interesting thing about it… given the right setting, and depending on how open you are, you can really end up putting pieces of your soul out on display. Maybe it’s easier with the option of that beautiful disconnect being there if you ever want to take a step back or keep things to yourself…

      “Man is least himself when he talks in his own person.
      Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth.”
      ~Oscar Wilde

      Of course… I kind of loathe the idea of masks. Not that I don’t wear them, I suppose (after all, Jack Sutter is a pen name), but I don’t hide behind them. Still, aside from my personal hang up with the word “mask”, I think Wilde had a pretty good point 🙂 .

      Liked by 1 person

  3. There is definitely a sense of freedom that comes with communicating with people in the cyber world. It’s only words between us. No facial expressions, tone of voice, or body language to be conscience of. We are safe to let our minds wonder and trail off into another subject, and when we return, the words are still there, available for us to read them, in our own time, there’s no hard feelings.
    The only soul outside the writing community, capable of such listening, would have to be my dog. He’s very forgiving.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s been a while since I’ve had a dog to talk to, but I remember how great they can be when you want someone to just talk to. Nowadays I just think aloud to myself, or write in my journal. Or, as the case may be, I write here 🙂 .

      Like

  4. Writing is a solitary experience for me as well. Luckily I like a lot of space and solitude which is what I am hearing in this post. With my blog I had a sense that it was like being out there, in a remote location and sending out these messages not knowing who might read them. I like making connections with other writers out there though as a support system not just..” how many likes did I get today?”

    Liked by 1 person

    • I sometimes think of it as a private theater. It’s an extension of myself (although it’s more “me” than my other blog, which is focused on my written art) and it represents me. But unlike face to face conversations, it’s somewhere that I can go speak from without interuption, monologues are the rule and discussion is secondary.

      Thanks for commenting 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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