For some of you reading this, you understand this but some of you and many of the people you work or live with can't imagine how any people can form deep connections with others they've never met and in some cases never communicating with directly.
CBC Spark, devoted a good part of a recent episode to this very idea. You'd do well to listen and subscribe to this thought provoking podcast.
The story of Daemon Fairless building a bike demonstrates the idea that the culture of sharing is becoming really important to many of us. Although Daemon's interaction at first was distant, he was simply culling information and resources, he wanted to do more, to reach and say thank you. When he wasn't able to do so, (listen to the segment to find out why) it bothered him. He made a connection and naturally wanted to deepen it. We're born to share.
The story of Eva Markvoort is a wonderfully sad story about sharing, dying and connection. As she chronicles her life and death with Cystic Fibrosis, you can't help but be connected to her. Never before have we been able to witness first hand the experiences of strangers and yet develop these oddly deep connections. Outside of the scripted world of broadcast media, we now share intimate moments with the world in its raw, unfiltered form. Yes, many of us have experienced this first hand with friends and relatives and while certainly this is not a pleasant thing to deal with, it is part of being human and being able to sympathize, empathize, hurt and mourn is part of who we are. I believe those people who followed Eva's journey are better prepared to deal with it when the time comes.
Finally an amazing story of collaboration and creativity. Eric Whitacre, a composer and conductor creates a virtual choir. The stories people share about how much they love to sing, how they, in some cases are able to join a real choir but are so grateful to be able to share their passion represents in perhaps the purest way, what the web is for.
From a personal standpoint, I could list story after story about the power of these connections that go way beyond, "thanks for the great link on twitter" or "I really enjoyed your blog". If you're not careful, this stuff gets real personal real fast and that scares many people. I suppose there are many that look at these emotional stories and say, "I've got enough connections without finding any online". That may or may not be true but I certainly wouldn't want them to dismiss the power of these connections. Perhaps one or more of these stories can be used to help others understand and see how deep they run.
The technology is now a prothesis of ourselves. Be it a webcam, a microphone or even the written word, technology is becoming a seamless conduit to connecting with others.