Becoming Neighbors…

One of my favorite movies is Three Guys Named Mike.  This movie is one of those delightfully innocent movies of the forties that just make you want to smile the whole way through.  Rather than focus on your traditional love triangle, this move added another angle and made it a quadrangle.  I’d give a big review of all the fun stuff in it, but most of the movie is irrelevant to my post so I think I’ll skip it for later.

Marci (the heroine of this comedy) is off to become an airline stewardess and gets some not-so-valuable advice from her father.  “Don’t talk so much.  Just say yes and no.”  So she does and nearly loses the chance at her dream.  However, thanks to her naturally talkative self, once the interviewer gets her going, she shows how personable she is and at this point (yes, I am coming to why I’m mentioning this movie) she said something I found very interesting.  She said, “Thanks to airline travel, people all over the world are becoming neighbors.”  Now, I don’t know about that… after all, not everyone can afford to travel.  However, if you think about it, that’s the perfect description of the internet.  I can talk to a friend in Ireland, a friend in Australia, a friend on the other side of town, and a friend in West Virgina… all at the same time.

Because of the internet, I’ve met so many people that otherwise, I’d never know.  I wouldn’t have had the pleasure of praying a dear friend through brain tumors, another through the birth, health problems, and death of her beloved baby.  I wouldn’t have had encouragement when my health went south or ‘family’ at Challice’s wedding.  Because of the amazing thing that this internet is, we can know people we never would have met.  We truly have become neighbors with the world.

I don’t want to pretend that the internet is the cure-all of humanity and doesn’t have its drawbacks.  It does.  It is very easy to lose a sense of physical community when you have such a wide and varied virtual one.  It is easy, well for introverts like me, to stay holed up in their own homes, neglect the ‘real life’ relationships around them, and interact on a purely ‘online’ level.  This, of course, isn’t best but for those who can’t get out it can be a way of still connecting with people on a very real level.  I’m not calling for an abandonment of interpersonal relationships that take place face-to-face and provide much needed contact.  However for the young mom at home with four sick children and a car that needs major work before she attempts to go visit a friend, it can be a life saver.

I’ve gotten to know so many people so much better being able to chat between helping a child with math, making dinner, and painting walls.  I keep thinking, “The Internet- it does the Body good.”  But unfortunately, if we’re not careful that’s a lie from the pit.

Anyway… regardless of its strengths and weaknesses, the internet has the ability to be a huge blessing in our lives, literally making neighbors of people who live thousands of miles away.  I think that is absolutely amazing.


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