In the immortal words of Marvin Gaye,

Mother, mother
There’s too many of you crying
Brother, brother, brother
There’s far too many of you dying
You know we’ve got to find a way
To bring some lovin’ here today, eheh.

In the past two days I have read blogs by young women who talk about ‘betrayal’ and being ‘stabbed in the back’ and while, okay, such sentiments might so easily be dismissed as the paranoid rantings of hormonal teenagers, each expressed the need to express themselves in a non-judgemental environment.

To one, moved by her appeal, I sent this reply,

This is quite true. You are unknown and the Internet provides everyone with the democratic luxury of a cyber disguise, binary makeup, if you like?
Strangely, this the second time in as many days I’ve read a blog by someone decrying betrayal and with that, er, cutting phrase, ‘stab in the back.’ It is disturbing.
First, that people cannot conduct themselves with civility but second, that you should present your anonymity as a weapon in your defence, while you try to open lines of communication, via the Internet.
In my estimation, most of these WP relationships endure because of some level of trust between both parties, however superficial. Just saying. Oh, thanks for the follow, too. You can see who I am in ‘about’.

Then, when I checked later, since I posted the original reply with my iPhone, I thought my original comment hadn’t got through so I posted this,

I left a comment earlier but it appears to have disappeared. Ok, so you need someone to talk to, that won’t judge you, who doesn’t know you. To do this you will use this binary makeup, this cyber disguise, we call the Internet. Fair enough. Disturbingly, you are the second young woman (if you are a young woman) in two days, who has posted about betrayal by so called friends and with the phrase, a stab in the back.
It is a sad reflection on how we, in general, conduct ourselves that we are in constant conflict and competition. It’s a destructive trait, in my opinion. But that we should also feel the Internet is our only defensive recourse, is worse. Anonymity, by Internet, may shield you but, in my estimation, most blogger friendships are based on a degree of trust, however superficial. Just saying and thanks for the follow. I’ll be looking out for your posts.

But is this symptomatic of a greater malaise, the erosion of our ability to communicate, person to person and resort, instead, to ‘social networks’ like Twitter and Facebook?

As a writer, I get a lot of value out of the internet. It is an avenue of communication with a whole world of people, far from my daily experience, far from my home, far from my cultural understanding. It’s educational for these reasons, if you keep your mind open but at the same time, keep your critical skills and discernment on full throttle.

Most of my fellow bloggers know I entertain no religious beliefs but fully respect and honour everyone’s right to have them. I’m no fan of meaningless platitudes, feel good affirmations or, indeed, pictures of furry animals. But, equally, I respect and honour everyone’s right and need for these very things.

I’m a writer, so I write. That’s what I do. I read, too and everyday I trawl through WordPress seeking something stimulating, eye catching, informative, challenging that will prompt me to write, post a picture, like or comment.

Anyone who has received a comment from me knows, when they read it, that I’ve read and thought about their blog post. I don’t check my stats every night to see how many likes or comments or followers I’ve notched up but I’d be happy if I thought those followers I have get some enjoyment out of reading my posts.

And I’ve met a bunch of people who are not just virtual people or cyber contacts, but, in my estimation, real people, who think carefully about what they’re doing and do it as best they can. You know who you are, real people.

I’ve spent a lot of time contributing to WordPress in the past three months, in particular, and I have now, a sense of community, a community of people who’s primary purpose is not self aggrandizement but communication. Long may it be so, even as darker clouds gather around us.

At this point, I’d like to plug tomorrow’s Signs of the Time #14. Thank you and goodnight.

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