December 31, 2015 Columns No Comments

This time of year I am almost always madly busy—holidays, holiday celebrations, end of year deadlines, travel. I found myself posting on a group site I’m a part of that “IRL, stuff is busy, won’t be around as much.” I got to thinking, though—is this real life?

50479-felicia-day-is-this-real-life-84rr-300x168What does that even mean? Why am I making these distinctions?

The reality of my reality is that the world is more connected than ever before. That is both amazing and sometimes problematic (a whole other blog post for somebody else to write) but it’s the truth—I live here, now, and in every moment. That includes my face to face interactions as well as my online/digital presence. Real life is all of this. Google Hangouts chatting with my bff across the country because we both hate talking on the phone is as real as any other interaction in my day to day existence. Emailing someone to tell them what’s on my mind, or help them problem-solve or cheer them up—it’s just as real as any other communication. It’s different, yes—we lack the nonverbal mode of communication in this format but it is a legitimate form of keeping in touch with friends and family and readers and anyone else I interact with each day. I have friendships I’ve developed with people I’ve never met or will never meet in person that are definitely real relationships with very real people. Just ask anyone who has ever been active on community forums, worked with creative/critique partners online, has had pen-pals over the years, or been active in a guild or other online gaming family. This is real life. It’s real because I spend “real” time (we all know time is just a construct, ya’ll) interacting meaningfully with them. My emails and chats with my in-town husband or faraway friends are still interactions that matter in a big way.

So when I say I’m wishing you well over the miles, through time and space, it’s legit. These wishes may be rocketed out to satellites and bounced back,  routed in ones and zeroes and  in the font of my choice on a screen of your choice but they come from a place of real hope for love and peace and good things for you all. <3

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Written by A.E. Ash