Brain Chemistry and Acquaintances

A friend of mine recently posted the two songs which can make her cry. I don’t how many songs can make me cry, but the above is definitely one of them. I can’t watch it without tearing up, another is Johnny Cash’s “Hurt”. That one is a little cliche but whatev. Its amazing how powerful a song can be. Not just the words, most or all of us recognize their power in our favorite quotes, speeches, verses, or excerpts; but notes and rhythm can be just as evocative, capturing emotion and turning it into an aural, tangible experience. Songs that can make me cry usually manage to capture in a holistic fashion the span of a human lifetime. They blend time and experience into a burst of transcendental musical genius. I don’t cry because I’m sad but because I’m overwhelmed with the emotion, beauty, or both of what I’m listening to.

“Acquaintances” is included in the title of this post. It’s there because the friend I wrote of, from which the idea for this post came, is a person I met only twice. Once during a short, 3 day trip, and once at a coffee shop over six months later. In fact, I stumbled across this song as a link posted by another friend who I’ve met in person only twice. I owe this entire entry to two friends I’ve only briefly seen in person yet have remained in touch with through the miracle of modern communications technology. My point? In this day and age of new media, social networking platforms, and unlimited connectivity the acquaintances we make from day to day can become a source of information, inspiration, humor, and direct or indirect support. The tools we have literally at our fingertips can turn acquaintances into long term friends, even if you don’t speak or physically interact on a regular basis. There are many people in my life like that, individuals who have become for me avenues to expand my musical, artistic, political, literary, and educational horizons. The person I refer to in this entry, through posted content, has become for me a stand-by go-to source for all things cool, interesting, and technosocially related. I spend quite a bit of time online, probably more than I should. My mother, a molecular biologist, worries that I’m altering my brain chemistry in a fundamentally detrimental way; check out the New York Times home page on any day and you will likely encounter an article that explores issues of internet technology and its effects on human biophysiology.

It may not be entirely healthy to plunge so deeply into the ocean of electronic “social networking” and I often worry that I alienate, annoy, or otherwise beleaguer online friends with my seemingly constant feedback which quite often assumes more familiarity than is warranted. I don’t mean to be invasive, I hope I don’t come across as a ‘stalker’ or ‘lurker’, I do my best not to bother, but for me engaging the people who I consult for cultural, educational, or pragmatic information, seems to be the point of this vast new world of ‘social media’. So if I’ve inundated your wall with long, rambling posts and if I’ve bombed your inbox with long, rambling messages you have my sincerest apologies, sometimes I just can’t help myself – even when it means I come across as that kid in 6th grade social studies who was always raising his hand and always interjecting. I am, after all, an inveterate dork.


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