Last fall, when my computer crashed, I blogged on how I experienced “a feeling akin to a bout of depression.” I noted how that experience reminded me “how dependent I had become on virtual connections.”
This past weekend, while I was able to blog while at Breaking Stories, Breaking Waves, the LGBT Media Summit and National Convention put on by the the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association, I lacked Internet access in my room and so was unable to check my e-mail as regularly as I would have liked.
As I result, I had a backlog of e-mail when I returned to LA and it took me a full day to get through my e-mail as well as get caught up on my blog reading.
Once again, I see how dependent we have become on virtual communication. It is a burden as well as a boon.
While I first complained about the absence of Internet access in my room, in the end I found it was a good thing. Had we had it in the hotel, I might have retreated there instead of blogging from the hotel’s lobby bar where I had a chance to talk to a number of people, engage in some great conversations — and even, as an ex-gay advocate walked by when I was talking to the Washington Blade‘s Kevin Naff, decide to approach her and pen a post on the topic.
So dependant have we become on Internet access that we see it as a loss when we learn that we’ll lack such connections in our hotel rooms — or, for that matter, any place where we travel. Yet, sometimes it seems it is those virtual connections which prevent us from making more human ones which we can more easily make in actual interaction with our fellows.
I may well have gotten more done in the past 48 hours had I not had to respond to all the accumulated e-mail, but then again, I did have greater exposure in San Diego to real people — and the chance to engage in stimulating conversation. And I do believe that such conversation is one of the things that makes life worth living.
– B. Daniel Blatt (GayPatriotWest@aol.com)