Monday, February 7, 2011

Life and Death in the Virtual Age

This world we live in currently is a strange one, almost surreal sometimes.  So interconnected and anonymous at the same time.  I think about how different things were when my grandparents were ill or passed, the last only 9 years ago.

This world we live in now is very different than even it was then.

Now we have things like Facebook and Caring Bridge.  We send emails and post updates online. 

People share that information, it gets passed along the virtual grapevine.

It makes things easier in some ways, negating the need for constant phone calls.  People don't need to call the house to find out how Dad is doing.  The rings don't wake him up all the time.  We don't have to talk in whispers.  We don't need to constantly rehash the same information, repeating and repeating and repeating.  When we've hosted blood drives or he's been hospitalized we've been able to let a lot of people know those things at once.

So, yes, in some ways it is easier.

But in other ways, it is strange.  There really is no other word for it.

All kinds of people having a view into a very personal process.  Some have come out of the woodwork, absent from our lives for decades or more.  Now they, like everyone it seems, want to stay updated. 

It's a false sense of closeness, almost a voyeuristic thing, at least for some people.

I am grateful for the ease, even if a little unsettled by what it brings sometimes.  Trying to reconcile the two, figuring that in the end it won't matter anyway.

This is, after all, the world we live in these days.  Not much ever happens to just us anymore.  It happens to anyone and everyone who knows, however that occurs.

At least the phone isn't ringing all the time.

1 comment:

  1. I completely agree, Kelly. Yet, I would not for any reason would have wanted to call and disturb your family at this time with my little thought of concern. That is why the internet is nice. Granted, it is odd. I would still rather receive a note or card in the mail as opposed to an e-card. As well as, getting a phone call instead of an email or text. Still, sometimes that email or text makes situations less hectic, awkward, etc. Just what you said above. Sending all our love and prayers.

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