By Jason Snell
July 31, 2017 3:46 PM PT
Real relationships, real communities
One funny thing about being a person who lives on the cutting edge of technology: It means you’re always surrounded by people who don’t understand what you’re doing. I know that a lot of people get a rush from this—you’re in a privileged position over a bunch of people who are clueless—but it can be an awfully lonely place to be. As soon as I got a modem, I found friends online. But to everyone else in my life, those friendships weren’t real—and the time I measured as valuable time communing with my tribe, everyone else measured as solitary time away from reality.
That takeaway was exactly wrong. But people didn’t understand. They have gradually caught up, which is good, and our digital community-building tools have taken a quantum leap forward.
Still: there’s a lingering feeling that when you’re alone at your computer, you’re isolated. I honestly I have never felt that, not since I got that Hayes Smartmodem in 1983.…