On Choosing Comfort in a Global World

“We become aware of the void as we fill it.” Antonio Porchia

The internet is a funny place. Like offline, we move among others all the time without saying a word. In a crowd, we may laugh at others jokes privately, but not aloud for fear of drawing attention. We overhear conversations and confessions we’re not meant to hear, not directed at us, and even if it moves us, we move along. Maybe leave a like or a short comment (Nice work 🙂), but it rarely goes beyond that. For every one friend we have online, we pass millions of strangers and their ideas.

It’s much like real life, isn’t it? We get the mail, wave to our neighbor, perhaps exchange pleasantries: but only if we’re very close do we talk about the truths deep inside. It’s no one’s business. No one wants to be privy to airing dirty laundry when they just wanted to check the mail. Most of us barely know our neighbors anyway beyond a name and a face.

And it’s better this way. We’re comfortable.

But the internet used to be different. Talking, deep conversations, and all behind screen names. The shroud of anonymity meant we could confess ideas, play new roles, be whoever we wanted online.

Interesting how taking that away made us safer, more comfortable, less willing to start conversations and say we’re listening and why. Discussion has become argument, and in response we cocoon ourselves ever more in the familiar.

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