What is Real?

In one of those Internet phenomenas, I found my thoughts converging between what I have written in the last couple of days, what Fabienne wrote on Monday and some concepts in the Podibook Beautiful Red by M Dursha Wehm.

I don’t find that real life is all that different between those I physically meet and those with whom I maintain an email/blog/phone link. But there are some major changes in how this community is defined for me. That difference I think relates to my age.

In my professional life, I have long been connected by phone with colleagues who I never met face to face. In 1986 when my organization added email capability, this extended to electronic communications. It was only with the advent of USENET and the early Fidob BBSs that this connection passed from the professional domain into the private where I could connect with essentially total strangers with whom I had common interests.

It takes a longer time to grow true friendships in the electronic environment than in a physical world in my opinion. Words can be deceiving and the lack of body language makes checking the veracity of our correspondent a bit trickier. For as many stories of finding soul mates and boon companions, there are balancing horror stories of fraud and deceit.

Sociologically, we haven’t kept up with labels, names or words that describe our new relationships, instead focusing more on what is real and virtual.. To say that we don’t need them begs the question. Definitions lead to common understanding and communications. In the knitting world – there is an understanding when someone says lace weight, fingering or bulky yarn for a project. A podcast is not the same as a YouTube Video.

What do you think? Should we work out words that fill those social gaps between “friend” and “acquaintance” in line with the old penpal which was a clear description of both relationship and method? English to start? Or perhaps to co-opt words from French, German, Hebrew or whatever to fill in those gaps? The fiber community has not been shy about creating and adopting new language (frog, tink, WIP, SIP, UFO). The tech community does it on a daily basis.


Round three was released last night. Since the release time was 1200 in the US, already there are a number of people with theirs completed. I cast on this evening, just completing the cuff of the first sock this evening out of Fortissima Colori.

My printer is out of black ink. I haven’t been able to print the pattern. Will do so in the morning along with my boarding pass and knit on the way to Zurich en route to Majorca.

the last room

The last mess to clean up.
a bit messy


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3 Responses to What is Real?

  1. Ruth says:

    Interesting thoughts….I’ll be pondering.

  2. fbz says:

    i don’t know if we need new labels, but the old labels don’t really apply in my case. maybe it’s just the case that the old labels mean something different to the general populace kind of like what a hacker means to a geek and what it means to the rest of society.

  3. Carmen says:

    Happy July 4th and Happy Travels. We are connected differently because of the technology. It is so much easier to keep in touch now than when there was only snail mail, or went there wasn’t even snail mail. Our village is bigger, way bigger. If we need new labels, rest assured, the English language will have them soon! Word-creation is one of it’s more captivating qualities.

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