Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Making Connections

I really liked this post by Northern Light.

My favorite parts were:

"It's actually GOOD that kids grow up with internet skills; just like other habits that can be deleterious if overdone, they just need to be taught how to manage them properly.

As the coauthor of a book that largely warns parents not to let kids watch TV, I've been in the habit of assuming that children should spend their time away from anything with a screen. While that's still true to a point--I still think TV is harmful, as the content is selected by the provider and not the consumer--I think there ought to be more considered comment not about how MUCH time kids spend on the computer, but exactly HOW they use it."

I don't have THAT much time to surf blogs, or, frankly THAT much interest in most of them, but what a luscious little treat I can give myself to peek into some fascinating other worlds now and then. It's not the superficial "all about me" world of Facebook (yuk) but words written from the hearts and lives of people who are consistently fascinating and stimulating."

Just like with anything, there are positives and negatives to reading blogs. There's always an issue of safety - not everyone is who they say they are, not everyone should necessarily be befriended, etc. You have to decide what you want to expose yourself to and what you don't. But at the same time, the internet - and blogs in specific - provides an amazing forum for human connections. We can wander in and out of someone else's point of view, soaking up as much as we'd like before dipping into the opposite point of view from a different blog. We can gain a greater understanding of people - ordinary people with ordinary lives, experiences, and opinions. And yet those, perhaps, hold greater truth than the opinions of public figures. There is the world we're shown by newspapers, television, and politicians. And then there's the greater, richer world underneath - that lived in by the laymen of this earth.

The internet is not something to be feared. It takes a certain wisdom to appreciate it and to navigate it. But once you learn how, it's like a treasure hunt. There's a lot of junk, but hidden among all that are real, amazing discoveries.

I think one of the biggest problems in this world, especially among the Jewish community, is that people really just don't understand each other at all - and many are not even making an effort to. At least with blogs, the words are there. All you have to do is read them - and lots of people are too curious not to, even if they do so without commenting or telling anyone.

I once heard a quote that goes, "When all think alike, no one thinks very much." It's okay to be different from someone else. It's okay to have different opinions. In fact, that's a good thing. Discussion and debate are what make us human. Otherwise we'd all just be robots.

Everyone has a point of view. Everyone has opinions. We just have to be brave enough to share them - and we have to be open-minded enough to understand and respect those of others, even if we disagree.

1 comment:

Northern Light said...

Erachet, I'm honored that you read, and enjoyed my blog. The feeling's mutual! You're very astute, and I say brava to your encouraging those with different views Jewishly to be open to hearing other opinions.