I still find it amazing how connected this world has become. The size of this planet is growing smaller and smaller as the restrictions around communication lessen. I think back to my childhood and all of the ridiculous things we used to do for the sake of communication. 

I remember how many times we had to rush home to make sure that my parents were home to receive a call. We used to have to schedule phone calls on a calendar days in advance. The phrase "I'll call you when I'm on my way" was never muttered because it didn't make sense. 
If you missed a call it could be the end of the world because you probably had no idea where the call was coming from or how to return their number. It's not like you could glance at the caller id, or play back a message on your answering machine - those things just didn't exist.

The number of communication channels used to be 2. 
You had your phone and you had a hand written letter. The former you had to actually be present to even know it happened, and the latter resulted in a 2 day waiting period to get your communication. 
The number of communication channels now is almost infinite. Limited only by the software that we choose to use to do said communication. You can communicate to specific people through email, talk to loved ones through Skype, talk to the world in 140 characters or less, or post stupid pictures of your kids or your pregnant belly with rage-inducing acronyms like DH, SO, LO, etc on Facebook.

Are your "friends" really your friends?

How many followers do you have? How many friends on Facebook? How many people read your Tumblr or subscribe to your blog?
I don't have very many followers or friends because before I follow anyone I like to ask myself:

(hello... my name is twitter follow #178... and I would like to share with you...)

What would you do if any one of these people showed up at your door?

"Knock Knock" - Um... hi? Hi, I'm Twitter follower #178... I was just in the neighborhood and thought we could hang out cause we're friends. 
I would take a gander that 95% of you reading this blog (which is probably 7/8 people... the actual number, not the fraction... well it's a fraction too, but you get what I'm saying), would look at that person as though they were crazy and you'd tell your kids to go to their rooms and lock the door while you explain to this person that they're a stranger and it's a little weird that they showed up.

But why? Why is that weird? I thought you were "friends".
I think about those who I consider my friends online... I think about @dpringle and @religionbites who I know I need to meet in person someday in life... I think about @Love_Is_A_Place who if she ever moved to the west coast would have a friendly family to have dinner with in person immediately... I think about @Sew_Lin, @HouseofJules, @showmyface, and so many others who (all 239 of them) could show up at my door and, aside from the shock and awe, be immediately welcomed in. Because they wouldn't be strangers. (yes, even @NathanFillion, @ThatKevinSmith, and @neiltyson)

Next time you think about posting something personal online, next time you tweet your pooping preferences, next time you talk about some ailment... ask yourself if it's meant for your "friends" or your friends. Beyond that, are we just feeding our own narcissism?


Comment by dpringle

Shankrabbit, over the years we've been conversing on the internet... And building our friendship one tweet at a time... I'm grateful to have random twitter followers (like we were to each other at one time) to become friends with. Meeting true friends through random interactions on twitter is something I truly cherish. Some of the most important people to me are those that I've met through twitter.

Twitter is where I talk to people I want to be friends with...

FB is where I talk to people I used to be friends with. ;-)

I'm grateful to have you guys as friends and in glad for the random happenstance that brought us together on twitter.

One day we will sit and chat over coffee or beer... Until then, there's twitter.

Comment by sew_lin

Thanks my friend! You and your family would not be turned away at my door either!

Comment by Your "best friend"

Isn't this post just feeding YOUR narcissism??? Love you for real. And if I just showed up knocking in your door, I'd hope you'd tell your kids to run and hide!!!

Your "best friend"
Comment by showmyface

I was certain this was going to be about the pocket hose and how if someone who said the kind of things I said showed up at your door, would it be safe to let them in?

Seriously, the closest friends I have are the friends I've never actually met in person. But if they showed up at my door, you included, I'd be overjoyed. It's an interesting world we live in that way. Scary and wonderful and in most ways, I'm very thankful for it. I'd be a very lonely hermit otherwise.

Comment by HouseofJules

So true! The last time the three of us were together was on a boat in the Chicago River 100 years ago. We need another night hanging out. KNOCK KNOCK, I'M AT YOUR DOOR, LET ME IN!