Casting my net, or spinning my web?

I am net­work­ing like there is no tomorrow.

I believe very strong­ly in keep­ing in touch with friends and fam­i­ly. Unfor­tu­nate­ly for my entire adult life thus far, that faith has, with­out works, been proven inar­guably dead. And so, as I near the close of my thir­ti­eth year of draw­ing breath, I am try­ing to make up for lost time, mend­ing as many sev­ered con­nec­tions as I can. And to do so, I am turn­ing to the Inter­net in a big way.

I have always been a big fan of Googling my name and the names of acquain­tances, just for kicks. But now I am mov­ing beyond the idle voyeurism of my twen­ties (all right, fine: my entire life) and actu­al­ly mak­ing con­tact with friends long lost due (main­ly) do my habit­u­al neg­li­gence toward friend­ly com­mu­ni­ca­tion respon­si­bil­i­ties. In the past few months I have already recon­nect­ed with at least one ‘long-lost friend’ due to deter­mined Googling on my part.

I have also made my first for­ays into the world of social net­work­ing sites, which I had hereto­fore avoid­ed for rea­sons most­ly cur­mud­geon­ly in nature. Based on the ref­er­ences to it in var­i­ous media sto­ries over the past few years, I asso­ci­at­ed Face­book with unchecked debauch­ery at elite prepara­to­ry schools, so I saw lit­tle util­i­ty for me in the site. But after a chat with a friend the oth­er day I decid­ed to at least take a peek. And when I jump into some­thing, I jump all the way in; I now have some­thing like forty ‘Friends’ on the site, many of them fel­lows from college/seminary that I have not had any con­tact with in years. Com­bine this with my activ­i­ty on the more pro­fes­sion­al­ly-ori­ent­ed LinkedIn, and you can see that I am sud­den­ly a net­work­ing whirlwind.

But as excit­ing as all this is, what good is it actu­al­ly doing me, or any­one? Is my life get­ting bet­ter? Well, if I can sus­tain my ini­tial excite­ment past the inevitable diminu­tion in ener­gy, I think I can answer yes to the sec­ond ques­tion, at least in a qual­i­fied man­ner. I am going to be thir­ty years old in a cou­ple of months, and if I can find in these online tools both the inspi­ra­tion to com­mu­ni­cate reg­u­lar­ly with a wide range of folks and sup­port me in main­tain­ing these increased cor­re­spon­dence pat­terns. And I’m think­ing that can hard­ly be a bad thing.

1 Comment

  1. I’m try­ing to avoid study­ing for my “Stars and Steller Sys­tems” exam, and decid­ed to see if you had added any­thing new to your blog in recent months…much to my sur­prise (and delight since I’m pro­cras­ti­nat­ing!) I had sev­er­al entries to catch up on! Good to see that you’re writ­ing again!

    And as for net­work­ing on the internet…I have found face­book to be very use­ful in keep­ing in touch with friends I rarely see. Wel­come to the online world!!

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