It’s either a wonderful thing or a sad indictment on the way in which I live my life now, but I do find I carry out the majority of my social interactions online.
It’s a wonderful thing because the internet enables me to do that. It enables me to conduct conversations with people in a wide variety of geographical locations both local and globally. These conversations cover a full range of interaction from the very one-sided (ie blog postings and message board postings), to the slightly more engaging (emails), right up to the one-to-one kind had during instant messaging sessions.
Each method of communication each offers advantages over one another but what concerns me right now is that the majority of my relationships are “virtual”. I must have “chatted” with seven or eight people yesterday on and off throughout the day and yet I didn’t leave my desk once. My desk is inside a secure area too. Nobody visited the office either.
This is no different from anyone else’s work experience, I suspect. Though I wonder if many stop to think the effect it has. For me, my attention is focussed on the most important thing of all: a sense of trust, or rather my lack of trust fuelled by what is increasingly turning out to be a pernicious technology.
Consequently, for one day only (or possibly more, I’ll see how I go), my messenger is switched off. I won’t be responding to it. *There will come a time when I’ll need to rely on it for work but by then I hope I might possibly have established my own rules of engagement and in so doing, promote a healthier approach to forming virtual relationships.
* This only after we’ve had a team meeting via an online messaging service. After that’s done Messenger’s off.