Monday, September 10, 2012

Connections ... of the Internet Variety

It's no secret here on the pages of FOL that I was an "unbeliever". That is, I didn't believe in the significance of online social groups. Yup. That would be me three years ago, saying, "Phooey." As I've told you in these pages before, that changed when I found internet communities where other people shared my passion for creativity and photography.

In that time, I've made online friends and acquaintances literally around the world. How fun is that? These internet communities have enriched my life and led me along a path that culminated in founding Focusing on Life so that I could reach out and offer to others what I found online: Acceptance, encouragement, connections.

A few weeks ago, Kat Sloma of KatEyeView hosted her second annual Liberate Your Art postcard exchange. After being too shy to participate in 2011, I decided to plunge in this year. What you see above are some of the postcards that I received. They hang just above my computer and are a constant reminder of my connections to this creative community to which I belong.

But nothing is as important as our daily connections with our family and friends, that's why I loved Deanna's post last Friday. One of my biggest fears about the ever-growing world of technology and gadgets is that we'll become a nation of techie zombies, people who just sit around communicating via our techie toys, forgetting how to nurture our most important relationships. This is a gentle reminder to all of us ... myself included ... to turn off the gadgets, seek out your family and friends. Be sure to embrace them each and every day.

How fortunate we are to have so many different kinds of connections to enjoy and nurture in our lives and to be able to express them in so many varied ways. We're off to a smashing start on our September theme.
Let's keep those connections open on our Flickr page.


AFishGirl said...

Great post, Dotti. Rings true on all levels. The power and energy of the online photography communities to which we belong can't be measured.
Yes also to the balance with our time spent on the gadgets and time spent with the people right in front of us, doing tangible things (so we can photograph them, grin). It's one I struggle with and now I try to accept that some days I'm on the black box a whole lot and other days hardly at all. I'm sure the house cleaning suffers but hey, I just don't shoot the dust bunnies. And the dust bunnies do not make me feel inspired or appreciated. They don't even laugh at my jokes. They can play amongst themselves, silent lot that they are. For me, I'm staying with you guys!
oxoxox Pam

heyjudephotography said...

I was right there with you Dotti, phooey to the whole online social thing! But then, I found Big Picture, which led me to a whole new world of people who have a passion for what I have a passion for. And then, as they say, the rest is history. We do have a delicate dance to dance to keep our intimate, face to face communications alive, while we still enjoy what technology brings to our lives too. Good reminder to keep them in balance.

Radish said...

I do believe in the on line social life. In my case it is the only way I meet creative people. But I can get carried away myself. One thing that has happened is that it cuts into my reading time. But we are where we are now. There is no turning back. I do believe that in fact people are sometimes really listening to people's needs. Good post.

terriporter said...

Yes, I think a lot of us have had the experience of discovering online social groups and being surprised at the connection to like-minded people that we have found there. But, as you said, all kinds of connections are important in our lives and need to be given equal attention. Love your photo of the postcards! Beautiful lighting and I love the composition which allowed you to add the word art. It was my first year to do Kat's postcard swap too and it was so much fun receiving some "snail mail" from all parts of the world!

Claudia@DipityRoad said...

If it weren't for my on line family, some days I would have been lost.

So often you all have been my go to, to boost my spirits and help me take that next step! Especially when it came to creativity.

Grand post Ms. D

Deanna said...

Like minds think alike...connections either on-line or hand in hand together are so important for our well-being. I am like Claudia..there have been days when you guys were my connections and I am so glad we have this blog together to share, laugh, and love.

Linda said...

Some days my on line friends really pull me out of a funk! I never thought I would be one of those people who made friends on line! I was wrong!


stephmull said...

I, too, never thought I'd find such a wonderful group of friends on-line. Although, it still sounds funny to me when i tell my real life friends about my on-line friends! But I'm so thankful for both connections and couldn't do without either! Thanks for the reminder to turn off the electronics and nurture our relationships! Can't wait to see you in person in a few short weeks!!

Kim Stevens said...

I had no idea what I was getting myself into when I started my idea really about what blogging was about, or how to do it! I just know that it was something I felt led to do...and that brought me to all of you here and along the way I've grown as a person and a photographer and have had some of the most encouraging words come from people I've never met. house has just never been the same! haha With the kids back in school and having nearly 3-4 nights a week taken up by school activities and volunteering, yes I have had to step away from the computer a little more, but I miss everyone when I do. Love all those postcards . . . one of these days I'll get mine ordered. Trying not to beat myself upside the head for not getting to it by the deadline!! Great post....if I end up using mine....I had some similar thoughts.

Leigh said...

I remember when I met up with Terri and Stephanie and how concerned my family was that I was meeting people from....gasp....the internet! True relationship need only a connection and that connection can be made in many different ways. I feel so connected to all of you who share the same passion for photography and life that I do. You are my cheerleaders, my therapist, my support team and my family.

Carol said...

Of course I agree with all that's been said here. I notice the imbalance particularly when I have tech problems -those days we have all had when you sit down to spend an hour, and something gets fouled up, and by the time you either figure it out, or call a help line, you look up and its 3:00 in the afternoon. Those are the days when I say to myself, what am I doing? What have I accomplished today? It's infuriating!
But then there are those days that you are all talking about -when you all encourage me, or promote something that I believe in, inspire me. And my book reading has suffered a bit, but on the other hand, I have read so much good material on line! Last night, on my plane trip home I read a long essay on creatuvity. Is that soemhow worse than reading from a book -especially since at that moment, on a plane, I would not have had access to that article in a book at the moment I had time to read it.
So there you have it -the question of balance. I think as long as we are aware of it, and act to keep our in-person friendships, its all a blessing, all spreading the good in the world and getting away from all,the trash on "the news" .

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