Connecting with long-lost high school buddies is nice. We reconnect virtually as familiar faces bring back a flood of memories. In most cases we will never see these people in real-life again. Families and friends are drawn closer via virtual walls but it is not a replacement for being there.

For the opportunity to participate we need to post, check in, tag or be tagged. A duplication of the real. A broadcast or a brag for those that missed it. It takes real work. Time…when we no longer seem to have any. To not participate is to be invisible. To not comment is to shun the clan. There is even a study that shows that those who do not participate online cannot be trusted.

What I really wander about is the need to have to manually duplicate all of our actions. I long for the time when our technology evolves to the point of organic connectivity. When our whereabouts and check-ins, the images of what we see and the feelings related to our actions are filtered based upon our preferences and broadcast to those we care about automatically. To feel one another’s thoughts when we need to, to see what they see when they want us to…without having to go on-line – because we are online already.

But is this what we want…a neural web that feeds us? Maybe we do not need to take it that far, but we live in the real world and we need our networks to support us as we walk about; live, love and laugh together vs. late nights in solitude fueled by the glow of our LED monitors.

We need the virtual and the real worlds to collide. We need to remember that one only exists because of the other. We will get there, but we have a ways to go. Until then, stay close.

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