A recent post by Drew (Drew Duality) struck a chord with me. He wrote about a blogger who became a friend. There was just one problem: he only knew this man by his online name and contact information. Drew’s friend suddenly dropped off the Net. He didn’t respond to messages. Is he alive? Did he get hit by the coronavirus? There was no way to find out.
I have been thinking about this sort of thing for a while. What if something happens to Mrs. Lion and me? None of the people who know us here would have any way of discovering the issue. Did our Internet provider cut us off? Are we sick or worse? If I am the one struck down, will Mrs. Lion be able to manage the blog? I do all the technical stuff now. Will she even think about it? I suppose the same is true if something happened to her. I’m not sure I would be capable of letting you know.
it’s just the Internet
It’s too easy to simply decide that the Internet isn’t real and anybody who knows us there even considers us real people. To a large extent that’s probably true. Most of our readers don’t engage with us as people. We are a source of information and entertainment. If we go away, there are other blogs to read. Some of our readers have made us part of their lives. We love that. I think we owe them a way to know what happened if we suddenly disappear.
Mrs. Lion and I aren’t very social lions. She has some friends from work and prior jobs. I tend to lose contact with people. I was trying to come up with three references in case I find a new job. I’m having trouble doing it. That realization and Drew’s post is a wakeup call for me.
Drew’s solution is to provide social media contact information to people who know his real name and situation. That’s a great thought. My only social media outlet is Twitter (@TheCagedLion). I don’t trust Facebook. I don’t really communicate with folks on Twitter. I should. I have become way too isolated.
My original thought about letting people know if my world ends was to write a postdated post (future publication date). The idea being that I could keep changing the publication date. If anything happened to me/us, eventually the post would publish. It could give real names and other data so that people who cared would be able to figure out what happened to us.
I like Drew’s idea better. All I have to do is find a couple of bloggers who would be willing to become real-life friends. I hope I can do that. I also think I can keep the friendships alive and not withdraw into my comfortable isolation. I don’t think we are antisocial. We are both shy when it comes to people we don’t know well. It’s time that I get over this. I care about you. While our relationship may be one-way, it’s still real. I would like to think that you might want to know what happened if one dark night we are abducted by Republicans.