Wednesday, 4 March 2015

This'll throw you!

Look! I'm writing a blog post! How retro is that? The reason is very simple and I'll try to explain it.

Last night I caught up with Echo Mouse who was one of the first people who commented on this blog 10 years ago. Mouse and I have been in touch, via social media, all these years and I've watched her become the Queen of Canadaland in that time. She worked incredibly hard to set up the Mastocytosis Society Canada, a charity which works with sufferers, carers and clinicians involved with mast cell disease. A tremendous achievement by any measure.

After our chat (and a bit of sleep - those crazy Canadians have some weird time thing going where they are awake while we are asleep) I started reflecting on the nature of these virtual connections. Mary Chayko (who I also follow on Twitter) wrote a book called "Connecting" (2002) about how we connect with people - real and imagined - using a range of media. The imagined people are the characters in films, plays and on television. She argues that social connectedness exists in a kind of multimodal continuum and I think that this is more valid now than ever. I reviewed this book for FirstMonday and the review is still available - scroll down this page to find it.

Mouse and I are unlikely to meet given that she lives in an igloo, surrounded by polar bears, many miles from here. But we still have a connection which allows us to chat, offer support, tell jokes and maintain a friendship. By the same token - yesterday I was exchanging texts with a friend I haven't seen for a dozen years. We speak on the phone and chat about our children and the world from our perspective - another connection facilitated by technology.

After chatting with Mouse I also started reading early posts on this blog and, better yet, some of the discussions which took place in the comments. I make no great claims for the quality of the posts but the quality of the comments was incredible and I'm wondering whether I should start blogging again as it offers a different outlet for some of the stuff in my head. Blipfoto serves as an outlet for photography and blog-like postings but this space need not connect with an image and that offers a different freedom. Of course I can post images and I've thrown one in here for those who don't like words :-)

I may be back.............

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