|Offline painting on Bailey Island earlier this autumn.|
Although I can be quite social and outgoing, by nature I'm a hermit. When I write fiction, I disconnect from the internet and only answer phone calls from my children. The places where I paint my watercolors often lack cellphone reception, but that is a plus. Solitude allows me to slip into a meditative state of creative concentration. Still, as much as I need isolation to work, I crave social connection too. Face time is best, but the internet is useful for one who lives in a remote location.
For years, blogging and email sufficed to maintain distant connections, but after Sandy struck, I lost contact even without losing power myself. I worried about friends and family in NYC and others in neighboring states. When emails remained unanswered, I joined Facebook and twitter to track down loved ones and blog buddies. Borrowed internet provided time for only a quick tweet or Facebook update, but it was enough to let me know they were okay. Technology is a marvel, a virtual campfire, as others have said. It warms our souls.
In some ways, I prefer the simplicity of twitter, but due to the public nature of tweets, it's better suited for work connections like my Linkedin account.
So now this Maine hermit is:
updating on Facebook
and linking on Linkedin.
It's a 5-ring circus if you add
my website as a virtual art gallery.
Some have managed online multiplicity by posting simultaneously to all forums, but I don't think that approach usually works. Disconnect and redundancy happens. It looks unprofessional to whine about your kid's fever to business associates.
I'm concerned by how much personal information is out there for all to read. My guiding principle is to assume the last person I'd want to read my update will share it with a thousand clients. Think before posting.
Question: how do you manage this online cacophony and still find time for life offline?
|Scout at Popham Beach last year.|