So, I read this beautiful post over here at The Sacred Path yesterday, and it reminded me of the concept of “attachment theory” in Depth and Ecopsychology. Experiences in the WP blog world have led to me thinking about “friends” in the online life and attachment via blog.
So, how does a person begin to “know” a person in the blog world? This is over time, and through text. From the text we get a view of the person that is the real person typing the blog. In the piece linked above, you can read about what it is like to miss someone that you got to know in the blog world.
So, how does attachment happen. The icon being used as a gravatar, even if it isn’t a face! It is an easily recognizable object if it stays static. You form an attachment to a “known” object. This works kind of like the way a baby sees an object in the field. Say it is a favorite teddy bear — the baby knows how to look for the bear by the way it looks. The icon is often descriptive of some part of the personality too. My friend Song (who really helped me work out this theory) had two icons. One was a hummingbird, and the second a rainbow. But her name changed twice. So, this is what therapists refer to as object constancy. When my friend came back with a different icon, but the same name — I recognized her! When my friend came back with a different name but the same icon, I recognized her. Long absences can occur, and if she comes back I will recognize her if she chooses to comment.
She made several different blogs over time, and sometimes suddenly they would be gone, overnight!
So this could be a matter of boredom? Or non-attachment — if we look at that therapeutically. I also have that relationship with two blogs. I show up on them and make comments periodically. Over about a three year period, I feel i know the blogger as a friend. Truly. Recently there was an article on CNN about empathy at this link.
This was the key part of the article for me:
Their brains have become “wired” to use their tech gadgets effectively in order to multi-task — staying connected with friends, texting and searching online endlessly, often exposing their brains to shocking and sensational images and videos. Many people are desensitizing their neural circuits to the horrors they see, while not getting much, if any, off-line training in empathic skills. And the effects may even reach young people.
In a 2002 study published in Brain and Cognition, Robert McGivern and co-workers found that adolescents struggle with the ability to recognize another person’s emotions. The teenage volunteers in their study had particular difficulty identifying specific emotions expressed by another person’s face.
I have looked extensively into the dynamic going on with the generation born say, in the last 25 years when tech is their whole world? Also, I have explored language use and semantics in this generation. I watched a video today that shows fear in the inner world in terms of the imagery presented. Also this video is about loneliness in this generation. This generation does search — as the CNN article talks about — but in those last pieces I wrote about the “aquarium heads” — what are the attachments? Hmmm.
The whole FB experience is fleeting — and yet, attachment appears to vary based on age demographic. So does attention span and even what is being written. I talked about emoticons as language in the last few pieces.
Questions for research are:
What is language?
What is media surround?
What does attachment mean as FB?
Is attachment something that forms more overtime with conversation?
Do web relationships matter as attachment theory/empathy?
This was the video of the inner imagery in a part of this gen. It resonates with other images that emos have drawn of loneliness and their hearts.
In art and narrative therapy we look at the worlds presented via self-expression.
My concerns are the level of medications/what was observed in web/cultural surround. More later.