On a normal day I get at least one email from her, usually more. She blogs most days and I subscribe to her blog so I get a dose of what she's doing that way too. She comments on my blog, posts pictures on her website, we both write about the books we are reading on GoodReads, and
there's an occasional phone call or text message. But Mari and Shawn declared a moratorium on technology and have shut down all digital communication while they enjoy a romantic adventure on the open seas.
That's great for them, but what about me? OK, I'm just kidding. I am happy beyond words that they found each other, are building a life together and are finally able to spend quality time together without distraction (AKA: honeymoon). I'm just having difficulty dealing with the online withdrawal symptoms.
This has opened my eyes to the power of online relationships. The Internet gets a lot of bad press about people choosing to spend time online instead of with actual people. But what about the times you can't be with the actual people? The Internet rocks! It keeps friends and families connected all around the world. And have you ever been on a virtual vacation with someone? They email daily with the tales of their travel or maybe even create a web site to host their pictures and stories. It may not be as good as a real vacation, but it is enjoyable in its own way.
And let's not forget social networks. Facebook is about as common as the telephone for communication. I feel like I'm staying connected with everyone I ever knew via facebook, but I would never call all those people. Another great thing about social networks is meeting new people. Scary!?! Not really. For example, NaBloPoMo provides a place for bloggers to meet, an online
coffee house where people read, write, comment and get to know each other. I've met some fascinating people at NaBloPoMo. It may be that bloggers are just naturally fabulous. But I imagine people on other social networks are meeting interesting people too.
Email, facebook, blogging, Google, Flickr, YouTube...our lives are enriched by technology and yet it is probably a good idea to occasionally take time off. Play a board game, take a walk, sit on the porch, enjoy conversation. Even so, I can't wait until Saturday when Mari and Shawn will be back at their computers!