Lonely in the Biggest Crowd

Funny thing about the Internet: it’s often a double-edged sword, at least when it comes to using it to feel “connected” to the world at large. It can bring you closer to people and allow you to feel like part of a community, or it can cut you down and make you feel like you’re the proverbial wallflower, unseen and unheard by the chattering crowd.

Of course, it’s all in how you wield it, whether you take advantage of the opportunities it offers to express yourself or whether you let yourself remain the quiet observer. From blogs and photo sites like Flickr to online forums and social networking sites like Facebook, it’s easy to wander, looking at what other people are doing and saying without actually making your presence known.

It can be fun, true, and interesting, even inspiring, to use the Internet as a window into other people’s lives, but at some point that window feels too much like it’s made of one-way glass. It didn’t use to be that noticeable, back in the day when there was a tad less emphasis on the social aspects of the ‘Net, before people were putting their lives online en masse. Now, though, when it seems everyone has *some* aspect of themself willingly posted for all to see, not following suit can be a rather lonely prospect.

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