June 09, 2009

A Different World

Gentle Reader: As some of you know, I was just blessed to get a full-time temporary position (Thank you to all who offered prayers!). It's not the full-time permanent that I'd ultimately like but I'm grateful for whatever opportunities I can get in this day of high unemployment. The company has no local offices. They don't even have an office in the state I live in and will work in. The job is remote and virtual. I met my manager when he interviewed me and I'll see him again for one day of training. I'll check in with him via phone or email but I'll probably never, actually, see him in person again. I have peers in this area but we will not work together. I'll see them for the training day and that will be that. We each will go to our seperate projects.

I'm responsible for keeping my schedule and getting the job done. Compared to my last position, it will be nice to be treated like an adult again.

But, the anonymity of the job is very much like the anonymity of many relationship these days. Take the blogosphere for example. We may "know" people from their blogs and their comments on our blogs. We may Tweet with them. We may IM with them. We may be Facebook buddies with them. We may be in a live chat room with them. Maybe we've even seen them via a webcam link.

But, there is something different than traditional in these friendships. Just like my new job. Not your classic office desk job.

I'm not sure if the word to describe our relationships is "superficial" but, assuredly, something has changed. Our world has changed. Our relationships to others have changed.

In some ways, it's better. You can meet more people and quickly if you have truly embraced the online social media culture. But, the days of meeting people by meeting them in-person first and then taking it from there has changed. Now, you meet people virtually and, then, maybe someday you take it to the level of meeting in person. I've had friends that I've known online for years that I've never met in person. Some of them I correspond with daily. Maybe we never will meet in person. That takes some getting accustomed to from what I'm used to but maybe that's not such a horrible thing?

As our methods of "hooking up" have changed have we also developed and maintained manners? I think culture has become more invasive but I'm not always convinced that manners and civility are as prominent as, perhaps, they used to be. Maybe the exact manners we've traditionally used don't always work in our virtual society but there should still be a civility.

I think there still are manners online. I know people, including myself, often lament their absence. However, people with manners will NOT continue online relationships with people who do not share their desire for civility, charity and manners.


Blogger Terry Nelson said...

What did I say now?

Congratulation on your new job - I have been worried - seriously.

June 09, 2009 10:10 PM  
Blogger Adrienne said...

All I need to know about you is that you love bacon and have a cute Dad. That makes you a very special person.

Have fun with the new job...

June 10, 2009 12:02 AM  
Blogger Angela M. said...

I am glad you got this job and I continue to pray.

And maybe the world isn't ready for Cathy of Alex, Terry Nelson and Angela Messenger to meet face to face LOL!!!!

June 10, 2009 12:13 AM  
Blogger Cathy_of_Alex said...

Ter: Thanks!
Adrienne: LOL!
Angela: Maybe the world isn't ready but I am! :-)

June 10, 2009 8:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've thought a lot about the parallel worlds many of us exist in. I think that one of the reasons the "virtual world" seems weird is that it slightly dehumanizes us -- renders us purely intellectual and spiritual beings, since we cannot exist physically in cyberspace. Our online relationships lack physicality, and are therefore less, somehow.

Just my $0.02

June 10, 2009 12:31 PM  
Blogger LarryD said...

Virtual relationships have begun affecting my real life ones. Now when someone wants to talk to me, I have them spell out a "captcha" before I listen. It's weird, but you wanna know what's even weirder? Sometimes they spell it out.


June 11, 2009 10:35 AM  
Blogger Melody K said...

Congratulations on the new job, I hope you will like it. I'll continue to pray for a permanent one (maybe it could work into permanent?)

June 11, 2009 4:35 PM  
Blogger Lee Strong said...

Glad you got the job. Good luck.

Stay in touch with people as much as possible to stay sane - unless,of course, sanity proves inconvenient!

June 13, 2009 5:33 AM  
Blogger Adoro said...

Well, dear as you're one of the people I met via online first...great to make your acquaintance, proud to call you my friend! A real one!

(Um, no offense to those of you with whom I've corresponded but not met!)

I also agree manners have fallen off, and I've been part of that problem, definitely.

It's shocking how far we can descend when we "dehumanize" people via internet. We say things there we would NEVER say in person!

(Actually...I write what I would say in person and have no problem with it. But all dependent upon the situation and venue! i.e. more discernment in the situation, the blog doesn't provide that.)

June 15, 2009 6:53 PM  

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