In my last blog entry I lamented the “dark spaces” of the Internet in regard to the various social networks and the potential for anonymously spreading hurtful, hateful messages about others. Now, for the rest of the story.
After the previous post I remembered that I recently had a flurry of Facebook “friend” requests. Several of these were from former co-workers and even a former manager from where I worked prior to retiring. I responded with, “Hi! How are you? It is good to touch base again!” I thought to myself, “Gee, it is nice to be remembered!” Then I thought of the special friends with whom I carry on a frequent exchange of emails. All of these positive experiences came through the same Internet that has offered up some of the less satisfying content.
For me, just reviewing the past friendships with co-workers was richly satisfying. I hadn’t heard from them for six years and suddenly I am a “friend” again. I also had the opportunity to see who some of their other friends are. This is one of those simple acts of kindness that it is so easy to gloss over as just ordinary. I am very fortunate to have people in my life who show caring for one another and include me in that circle of sharing.
Honestly, I probably won’t have an active exchange with some of the folks out of the past, since I do not spend much time in the social networks, but that is not the point for me. What I gained from these contacts is something I too often forget about myself: I am a person some other people are happy to know! For a few brief moments I got away from thinking I am alone out here. Then there is the whole blogasphere of contacts that I have. Some of these I initiated and some came to me. And what about such sites as Wikipedia? Good heavens, there isn’t anything you cannot find out about there from an old quote you cannot source to the meaning of words you never heard of before. If all else fails, there is Google!
So, the rest of the story is about how rich our environment has become thanks to the Internet. I would not want my readers to think my head is in the sand, unaware of that tremendous resource. Happy hunting and may all your contacts be powerful reminders of your value to yourself and others.