Hang with me
Capitalism abhors a vacuum, and into this collective social void has stepped a fleet of companies and entrepreneurs selling an end to social isolation. Over the past decade, on-demand connection has become both a big business and a powerful marketing opportunity. From co-living apartments to coworking spaces to apps that help facilitate human connection, there is a lot of investment and infrastructure being built around services that help humans bond with other humans.
I think the need for human contact is universal. Just look at us here, on blogger. We have created a mini-community in the bigger circle of bloggers that populate this site. We visit each other's blogs and we leave comments that move our conversations ahead. We are inspired by other bloggers, we mostly agree with what they write and we all take part of the friendly banter that this site offers.
We have our favs, we have our reading list in our feed that lets us know when somebody we 'follow' has published a post and we can go and read it and comment on it. Sometimes we even respond to other people's comments. It's fun. It's like having the chance to talk to a bunch of people who share our interests without even having to go to a Starbucks (and risk being trapped there with five policemen in uniform). It's fun, it's interesting and it's a good way to spend time getting to know what other people think about a myriad of themes.
But some people have decided go beyond that. They will provide you with a pre-concocted web of acquaintances. For a price. Yep, they'll fix you up with some instant friends if you feel your life is way too monotonous and you want to break the work-home-work-home-work routine, especially if you are new to a city. They could also provide you with a working space that you'd share with others and at the same time they offer the promise of connection. And that goes for living spaces too.
I think that with all the social media noise (facebook, linkedin, twitter, snapchat, instagram, the lot!) people have forgotten how to make deep connections in real life. I also think we talk about much more personal and deeper things on these blogs than people who share, let's say a -very curated- photo on instagram. Ha! And they say a picture is worth a thousand words.
I like blogging. I like sharing the noise in my head with others. I have also made very nice friends and acquaintances through this medium. It's that need for human contact. I have got to know people from different countries, who have very varied professions and that approach life from radically different points of view. I find that to be interesting. And I think that blogging differs from let's say, Facebook because the interactions are different: even when somebody just publishes photos of naked men, there's usually some editorial value to them: there's always some kind of personal taste/idea behind even the most minimalist porn blogs. We have decided to follow them through links we find on one of our favorite blogs, or because they comment on some of our friend's posts. Also, most of the bloggers we tend to follow are people who write mini-editorials on several topics: from personals stories to architectural eye candy to Tour de France and political commentary. I think that's great.
But I know that some people would like to have a more IRL connection. I think it's natural. The same medium that allows us to share ideas with people in the UK, Spain and France, makes us really aware of that distance between us. I know of some bloggers that get together regularly (they live in the same state, for example) and that makes the ties even more tangible. I like the online interactions, but I wonder if it would be fun to meet some of the bloggers I follow in person. After all, I know perfectly well how they think about life, politics, religion, sex, and most everything. I find them interesting online, so why wouldn't I find them interesting in the flesh? It's like MeetUp but with the warranty of a good conversation.
I'll leave you with that question. Would you like to meet fellow bloggers? I know some of you have done it. How was it? Was it interesting? It's not necessary but it's an open possibility that may be worth exploring. Who knows? Maybe one day we'll get to laugh about some silly post we wrote while having that mythical cup of coffee.