The anonymity of the internet can be a dangerous thing. It gives people the chance to voice their most nasty thoughts without having any accountability. Comment sections can be brutal, heartless and shockingly cruel. They tend to look like something you’d see in the Roman Colosseum circa 80 AD. They even have a handy little “thumbs down” button.
But that is just half the story. The internet also allows for connection on a level that is broader than ever before. Some might say that it’s a superficial connection, but since Facebook is the only reasonable way for me to stay in touch with my friends in Zimbabwe, it doesn’t feel superficial to me. It offers access to people you couldn’t reach before and there can be a true sense of community. It might feel a little different from a community that is created by a cul-de-sac but it’s a community, none the less.
There is someone on the IMDB message boards who wishes me a happy birthday every year.
On my actual birthday.
That’s pretty awesome.
It’s so easy to become infuriated with the media. It just takes one story about Anne Hathaway ducking into the car of a total stranger so that she can ditch TMZ, and I’m ready to go on an obscenity-filled rampage. But then, I am reminded that most people are not like that. Most people who are interested in movies simply love film and love actors and want to connect. I’ve met many of you via Facebook, Twitter and email over the past several weeks since I’ve started this blog. And you know what? You’re cool.
Since I’ve been completely hiding from my old life for the past decade, I’ve not had the proper venue for acknowledging the kind act of that dedicated birthday well-wisher. I always felt too shy to say it before. But I’ve been getting braver lately.
So, thanks, No-one2 for all your thoughtful messages. They have meant a lot to me.
And thank you to everyone who has written and welcomed me with open arms. I’ve loved hearing your stories of how you took the path less traveled and made difficult choices to pursue your own happiness.
I’ll quote someone who emailed me and say that it’s been wonderful to connect with you, “one normal person to another.”
Isn’t that what it’s all about, anyway?
Have comments? Please join our conversation over on Facebook