Meaningful Interactions

Over Christmas and New Year I took a couple of weeks off work. But I also had a couple of weeks away from the computer, from the internet, from answering my phone.

Of course what happened was I started to think. About photography, the nature of creating things and releasing them to the world, but mostly about the meaningful interactions I’ve had online.

One of the things that first drew me to RedBubble was the positive response to my photography. Heck, it feels good when people like your stuff and say so. But it went deeper than that. I’d admire someone’s favourites list and start to pay attention to them. Then I’d notice we were commenting on a lot of the same stuff. Not knowing anything more about that person, I’d feel closer to them, connected. Like I’d made a friend.

Online we reveal some of our most personal feelings and thoughts. Whether directly through our words, or indirectly through our actions. The internet is house to a true society of people, with a full spectrum of personalities and desires. Perhaps it is the (thin) layer of online anonymity which allows us to expose ourselves and embrace vulnerability. There is something very cathartic about saying to the world ‘this is me and I am not afraid’ (even if you’re shitting yourself inside).

Over time relationships develop and mature. Many of my closest friendships were established here on RedBubble, and much of our communication happens in bubblemail, on facebook, and in emails. I met my partner who I now live with on RedBubble too. These relationships are just as important and real to me as any other. They give me everything other relationships do – joy, entertainment, heartbreak, sorrow, confusing, tension and love.

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