The Ties that Blind

Helping Professionals To Use Story to Transform Communities

The Ties that Blind

For David I Muir, photographer extraordinaire, who asked for a word on connection.

Arthur Mee and Holland Thompson, eds. The Book of Knowledge (New York, NY: The Grolier Society, 1912) Courtesy the private collection of Roy Winkelman

The Book of Knowledge (New York, NY: The Grolier Society, 1912)
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The word connection is derived from an Old Latin word meaning “link” or “tie.” In fact, con means “with” in Spanish, and nexus is a word that is related linguistically to it.

Connection has, of course, another meaning. Internet!

Yes! the way that human beings relate to each other– virtually. Tied by networks, we float seamlessly from person to person by clicking and swiping. Our only struggle in meeting people has become finding the right app.

Which is brilliant. Boundaries are blurred because you can reach people in ways that you’ve never had access before. Joe the Plumber can tweet @POTUS and not only will our nation’s Chief see it, but the millions of people who follow him.

And if you have followers, that must mean you’re a leader.

Here is the real benefit of connection: that you can become a leader faster than ever before. So where are you leading people? Is leadership really what you want?

Humanity’s search for connection hides a deeper desire.

Don’t think so?

Go on any one of your networks. Watch the feed for 10 minutes. Pictures of family,  words of advice, angry rants or informational articles. People sending out a message: not creating posts for archival, but saying something that needs a response.

Is anyone out there? Do you see me? Am I being heard?

If you speak up enough, people who resonate with your voice will speak back.

I see you.

And that is only the beginning. Then comes the sharing. The communication. The likes and well-wishes. The bloom of intimacy.

Intimacy is what the connection is about.

We hold on to internet when what we want is intimacy.

Let go of being connected to the network, and let yourself be next to someone.

Or (k)not.