Sometimes I hate how connected my world has become.
I feel a mild sense of panic when I grope my front pocket and find I don't have my cell phone. I turn the car around and go back home when I realize I'm headed away -- for hours -- without my connection to the world.
For me, that connection started by wanting to keep in contact with my parents, after my mother had a stroke. I felt a need, perhaps an obligation, to remain available at the other end of the phone line.
But I was connected long before I had a cell phone. I think I was one of the original users of American Online. (That's AOL to people under 30).
I used my AOL account mostly for the chat feature.
Back then you could jump into a chat room titled with a location or interest. Inside the chat room you would find people who shared your interest in a topic or destination.
I managed to establish many "friendships" in those chat rooms. We were a community with no borders.
Many of those friendship have lasted the 20 or so years since they were formed. And while we may not be in touch as much, we are still connected but now we use Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter.
It's not unusual for me to log into my chat software and say hello to a few friends while watching TV. Sometimes one of them may be watching the same show and we make comments back and forth, like we're sitting in the same room.
Other times, we offer our greetings and not much more. But there they are, in the chat list, if I did want to chat.
My connected world makes my real world a little larger and less lonely at times. Because my connected world spans the globe, I can often find someone to sit quietly in my living room with me at 2 am.
So while there are time I would like to disconnected from my connected world, I'm always happy to know that I can just sit quietly in my chair, surrounded by my connected friends, and not say a word.
There are some really lame blogs at: BareNakedBill.blogspot.com. Check them out!