Last night I saw The Social Network on DVD (Thanks, SAG!). It totally captured the irony of this connected life. The movie also questions the primacy of male nerd culture, the difficulty in small business start ups, and the ownership of creative ideas.
In a closing scene Zuckerberg is left alone in a corporate office right after a potential friend declines his dinner invitation. He opens his computer to Facebook befriend her online. It is lonely, true. Yet, the scene reminds me that when the real world stings of rejection, having an onscreen persona can ameliorate the sting.
There is a place for online meet ups. For example, today I’m hoping to meet some of my fellow NaNoWriMo writers whom I’ve only received emails from during national novel writing month. Having companions while being a lonely writer has led me to greater compassion for other writers. I am grateful for my writing compatriots’ inspiration and productivity prompts. I’m grateful for real life workmates too. I’m always IM’ing my work buddy for motivation on being more productivity (Thanks, Beth!).
The president reminds the nation to connect in his awesome inspiring address this week:
“Use this occasion to expand our moral imaginations, to listen to each other more carefully, to sharpen our instincts for empathy, and remind ourselves of all the ways our hopes and dreams are bound together.”
I have written before about being wired to care and seeing my own need for compassion as a weakness and not a strength, especially on the job (which, I know, is ironic, given that I work at a Christian agency.)
I think my desire to connect and be compassionate and have compassion is okay. It is bound up with my innate and human drive to be part of a community.
I have no idea why I receive weekly emails from Rector Bill Tully of St. Bart’s Church, but I’m glad that I do. http://www.stbarts.org/bill-tullys-blog/ (I should visit this church for my church a day (week) blog http://mbcoudal.wordpress.com/ )
Tully is one of those brilliant church people who is addressing and writing about the need for connection and community.
This week he says, “…America is a hothouse of communities. In towns, cities, neighborhoods, congregations, clubs, schools, service projects, even in offices and places of work, we have a chance to practice the known virtues of love.”
Tully quotes our President too, who said:
“I believe that for all our imperfections, we are full of decency and goodness, and that the forces that divide us are not as strong as those that unite us.”
What he said.