This Great Society November 2009: Contents
           
This Great Society - Thoughts and Analysis
           
Photo: Joel Bentley
           
Sharon Garrard - The Death of My Textual Countenance
           

Today I stood on a stuffy, overcrowded train heading north from London. A man, nameless and faceless, tried to get past me and doing so, placed his hand upon my right shoulder blade: a tenuous but tangible connection for just a moment. Five tiny fires lingered for a few seconds where his hand had impressed upon my t-shirt—a few moments of connection. I began to wonder if my reaction was the epitome of utter pathos and loneliness? Am I so desperate for some kind of connection, intimacy, friendship, that a connection with a stranger I didn’t even look at could leave such an impression?

The disconnection in my life is taking over. Chords are fraying and weakening; some are being severed altogether. However, some connections are increasing in strength and in time—my online connections, that is. I am alone in a foreign society, still an alien after five long years. A marriage bond is slowly and painfully dissolving, as if the ring that was placed upon my finger is itself corrosive and burning my flesh as it reminds of me of abandoned vows. I turn to my laptop out of desperation, connect to my wireless, and connect to my meaning. Social networking has become a high I cannot live without.

What is it about “connecting” online that we find so appealing? I recently came across an article from my previous university that addressed the issue of social networking, challenging the reader to abandon these technological crutches that have become addictions.

In the title of this article, my former professor, Bob Doede, mused that “Social Media Creates Anxiety;” how can this be so, I wondered, when it clearly is a relief from the anxiety in my own life? To combat this “issue,” he presented his students a challenge of a media fast, claiming that “only the strong succeed.” I snickered away, bathed in cynicism at this weak and clichéd attempt to condemn, complicate and counteract parts of people’s lives that they enjoy. And then I tried to forget about it.

As a child, my world was a web of familiar streets that housed friends, relatives, neighbours, acquaintances, and teachers I could trust, and doors I could go through at my will. There were parks, forests, paths and fields to become lost in—my imaginary kingdoms. Through the years, they have eroded away to leave nothing but memories that now bring me pangs of nostalgia. Like an old woman who has not yet reached thirty, I dream of the days of old, relish my youth with certainty as an Indian summer that refuses to end. This is not pleasant. Perhaps the world wide web is my tangled, childhood, pseudo-neighbourhood I wish to roam until my sense of security is restored. I clutch to this desire and find no fulfilment. This is an ominous realisation.

I suppose I could just “get some friends.” This is not easy in a distant land, where I drift between two cultures. My perpetual confusion is materialised in the sound of my own voice, my own personal dialect that doesn’t belong. It is a constant reminder that I exist in an Anglo-Canadian Hades. There is no category for a hybrid.

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This Great Society November 2009
This Great Society November 2009: Contents
This Great Society November 2009: Contents
Deb Couch: FerihegyDeb Couch Kristin Fryer Kristin Fryer: Falling StarsSarah Gackle Sarah Gackle: AdrianDawn Watkins Dawn Watkins: Interruptions in an EmergencyD. A. Weiss D. A. Weiss: Comrade of Thy Wanderings Part 2 This Great Society November 2009: Contents This Great Society November 2009: Arts This Great Society November 2009: Creative Writing This Great Society November 2009: Thoughts and Analysis This Great Society November 2009: Formalities This Great Society November 2009: Contents This Great Society November 2009: Arts This Great Society November 2009: Creative Writing This Great Society November 2009: Thoughts and Analysis This Great Society November 2009: Formalities