It never ceases to amaze me how interconnected people on the internets can be.
Today, for example, I was reading a blog I found during NaBloHoFro, who linked today to the blog of some girl who is getting married this weekend. I clicked over and read a bit of her blog, clicked to see comments on a particular entry, and found that someone I knew had commented. And my guess is that this person I know actually knows the person whose blog I had found, since they’re both from the same city and of the same religious background.
Later, I popped over to Little Yellow Different, which I saw linked on One Good Thing a year or so ago. He doesn’t write all that frequently, so I’ll often go months between visiting his site. In one of his recent entries, he linked to someone who I know of from her book about independant weddings and her presence on indiebride and flickr. He spoke about her not in the context of the wedding thing, but just as someone he knew.
From there, I found a link to Anil Dash, who several years ago wrote an essay that encompasses my reasons for not wanting a diamond engagement ring. So I clicked on his main page and found this article about the huge generation gap between Gen X or earlier and Gen Y and later. The article was excellent, something I’d like to think more about, but that primarily illustrated further to me the fence-straddling I feel I do between GenX and Gen Y – sometimes I feel more a part of one or the other, sometimes neither. It’s an in-between feeling, that I don’t quite belong in either one – even the experts can’t agree which group I fit into, having been born in 1979. The article spotlights some young people my little sister’s age and younger who have grown up with the internet and have lived their adolescence and early adulthood completely open to public scrutiny through xanga, livejournal, facebook, myspace and all those other sites that separate the teenagers/college kids from those of us just a few years older. In reading the article, I could see both sides of the story, could see why kids these days choose to be so public, and could see the concern mentioned by the author regarding privacy, safety, and what your kids might think if they find your livejournal entries from when you were 14.
Sometimes it’s hard to know how much to write about here, after knowing the difficulty some bloggers have had after friends, family, or employers found their blogs. But it seems as though those 10 years younger than I am are making it easier for me to write things on the internet, since employers will have to get used to the idea that everyone who applies for a given job will have an internet history. That said, I know that most of the people that read this blog are people I actually know, and I write with the idea in mind that anyone I know or am related to might find it. It’s hard to straddle the line of Gen X, with the enmeshed idea that what you write on the internet should be anonymous unless you choose to be identified, and the line of Gen Y, in which you should expect anything online to be fair game to the world, whether you know the people who read what you write or not. One of the continued benefits of internet message boards, for example, is that it is still possible to be somewhat anonymous. With a blog? Not so much. Though there was that one time when I first started reading indiebride, and recognized enough about a wedding that was described by one poster there that I knew who had written it – since I’d attended the wedding!
Still, it’s both cool and weird, how connected everything can be. Sometimes it’s easy to forget that there are people behind the handles on a message board. With blogs, it’s a little easier, since people usually have photos and make some mention about their actual lives. I definitely feel like I *know* some of the people whose blogs I read, even though I’ve never actually met them, just like I *knew* some of the people on my old message board before I met them in real life. Heck, I’m even marrying one of them! The internets are an interesting phenomoenon, both facilitating human interaction and communication and at the same time, isolating people into binary code. I’m fascinated and trepidatious about what the future might bring for both the internet and how we use it to interact with people around the world.