When I was a young teen I was in a scrap-booking club as part of 4-H, where we would cut up physical pictures and paste them into physical scrapbooks. I haven’t printed physical pictures without some special cause (and usually then they’re already integrated into a design — lately ads and fliers), but a lot of these social networking platforms tend to function like virtual scrapbooks.Facebook is updated so much that it’s just a glimpse of the present: this is what we’re all reading, doing, and thinking (sometimes eating) today — and sometimes that’s alright. people post some good pictures, thoughts, and articles (and some trivial ones as well). And an amateur blog functions like a personal scrapbook, which friends, family, and people who aren’t friends yet, but could be, or might be if they were closer, can look at it if they like.
In a lot of ways I like this, especially since we’re so spread out. And at the same time, like many people, I spend too much time on these things — reading, viewing, and just looking at all the pictures, articles, and media the links send me to. A lot of movement in my “actual” (physical) life has started out on the web, and might otherwise be quite different, in ways I couldn’t anticipate. I leared about Orthodoxy through online message boards. I was hired by Tuluksak through an online resume. I found the opportunity to teach in Georgian online. And the opportunity to visit Syria. And couchsurfing hosts in Turkey. And the OCMC mission in Moldova. There were other opportunities that I heard about in person, by word of mouth, though. I’m living and working where I am as a result of online communications. There really is a lot of interaction between digital searches and physical actions.
Still, this requires some moderation. It worked better when I didn’t have wi-fi at home. I’ll have to look into making this more balanced, especially since I’m on the computer at least five hours a day for work.