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.