Monday, November 9, 2009

Virtual/Real Life

This Internet is such a strange thing. I read about and care about people I have never met. I know their intimate thoughts, the names of their children, their hopes, their dreams.

Yet, I wouldn't recognize half of them if I walked right past them.

Paul doesn't understand why I'm invested in the lives of "strangers." Well, they aren't strangers. Anymore.

I'm working through my feelings about how much I let myself care about other people's pain. I absorb it and it affects my relationships.

For example, I've been following MckMama's son and his struggle with SVT. It's too lengthy to go into detail, and if you read her blog, you certainly won't be the only one.

And today, when she posted that his surgery was successful, I cried tears of joy. I've been praying for this little boy, and continue to do so.

Yet, throughout the day, as I walked through the hours with my own, very real children, I was short-tempered, stressed. I was worried about a child I have never met, and was impatient with my own flesh and blood.

Is that messed up?

I know that I care about lots of people now, because I read their stories. I hope that people likewise care about my family and my own journey.

Yet, what is the boundry? When does the virtual life disrupt the real life?

I welcome your thoughts.


Unknown Mami said...

I feel the same way. I get very invested in my virtual friends lives. I don't think there is anything wrong with that, but I am really making an effort to be present in my own life.

I need to be invested in the moments that I am living. When I'm not online I need to find a way not to be distracted. It's not fair to my IRL friends and family.

Corrie Howe said...

Nancy, I can totally relate and have no words of wisdom. I guess we just submit it to the Lord in pray and seek Him first and he'll guide our steps. I'd like to think part of what we do is Shine His light into parts of the Internet. Check out this site. I've been profoundly impacted by this and keep turning it over in my head.

Trudy Woodland said...

I truly care and feel connected with Owen and Joel...all of you from reading your blog & seeing your pictures.

you are doing the right thing, the human thing by caring,feeling and praying.

Alice said...

Nancy - This isn't just an issue with virtual friends, it happens with people we would recognize on the street also. I worry a lot about my cousins Don and Allyn and my friend Dave but can't do a thing other than pray about their situations and, yes, sometimes it makes me cranky with my own family. I also addressed feeling guilty about being healthy while others aren't in a recent blog. It's a common human feeling - technology related... or not