Virtually connecting, but missing the real connections

I’m presenting at ALT-C this week. I was really excited about it – my co-presenters are part of my rhizo14 folk and I never thought I would get to meet them.

But a bad thing seems to have happened. Somehow, rather than spending time with me and other folk at the conference in the UK it seems that they have found an elite set of presenters and are choosing to set up Google Hangouts with North Americans.



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18 Responses to Virtually connecting, but missing the real connections

  1. Ouch; sorry to hear. Seems unpleasant and ironically counterintuitive to rhizomatic work. Perhaps it may be a conversation starter in other ways?

    • scottx5 says:

      Jefferey, is there a Rhizomatic by which to fix this while intruding into everyone’s life and feelings? I propose we drop the notion of this being a “learning opportunity” and just see it for what it is in terms of spoiling important relationships. There is a community here to help out.

      • Scott, not really sure I am following what you mean; are you referring to the vconnecting itself or something else about community experiences? It seems you may have more in mind than you listed, though I may be reading my own subtext.

        • scottx5 says:

          Jeffrey, I’m never entirely clear what I mean by Rhizomatic anything, but it would be nice if while the Rhizome wanders it came upon a resolution here. Maybe the key is that among friends EVERYTHING is personal and can’t always be planned for? Should stop the urge to analyse everything and hope things work out.

  2. mrsloomis says:

    🙁 I certainly hope I am not part of the problem!! I was so excited to be able to participate somehow that I never thought people might not be making the physical connections!!

  3. scottx5 says:

    This sucks. I don’t know what to say that doesn’t sound flippant or soothing. Being hurt is just that.

  4. fmindlin says:

    Some of us colonials know how to behave–you could hang with us…

  5. Maha Bali says:

    Ouch. For yourself and for me. I had not looked at it that way, tho i had considered how vc might affect the onsite experience. Too complicated to go into here.

    I wrote u privately but I think nothing i do online can fix this. Will have to prove to u in person that we r true friends (i think we are). I wouldn’t have gone to altc w/o u and Becky being there.

  6. Simon Ensor says:

    Sarah I thought you were one of the (elite) (select) (gold-star) (unique) (unlucky) (etc) people/presenters I could get to hangout with, with other North Americans, Australians, oh anyone.

    Never mind. Another time.

    Elite? Pfff.

    Interesting #rhizomess

    Enjoy #altc


    PS. Am not North American 🙂
    PPS. Am not in Manchester 🙂

  7. Bon says:

    just want to say that it was the idea of you four – Sarah, Rebecca, Maha, & Ash – all being in one space rather than four different countries that led me to say yes to the VC invitation that came my way. i just like you all and wanted to say hi. if the scale is too much and it’s taking away from time to talk together – and i get that, as i actually avoid G+ hangouts, generally – happy to wave from here and wish you all well as you sort this. because it’s the relational stuff that matters.

      • NomadWarMachine says:

        Well, except I did not get that invite. I was told a time, but I have another meeting then that I cannot miss.

        • Maha Bali says:

          Hey Sarah (I know we have talked and inshallah will be meeting today to share big hugs). I think with Rebecca and I traveling we thought you HAD gotten the invite (but it seems we dropped a ball somewhere – big team now, complicated coordination but still always room for emergence, and it’s possible we forget what we shared on Slack vs Facebook messenger altogether vs w u – that’s rhizomatic for u). I do realize we ended up scheduling a session you can’t make (miscommunication on vconnecting, not easy to untangle) – but still looking forward to lots of quality time w u whether privately or publicly. Any time w u is worth it. Hugs

          Btw I never know for sure if someone onsite really wants to do one of these so i usually don’t nag too much anymore . Even close friends sometimes don’t like doing them, so… Ah no point overtalking it here. But to repeat Simon on something: ppl on vconnecting were counting you among the stars they would meet. It’s the combo of all of us in one place that makes it special for other ppl who love us and we wanted to share that excitement

  8. Wendy says:

    And post conference, Sarah? What is the feeling now? I’m glad of the (side-ways) glimpse i got of you on the Hangouts.

    For me it’s like the whole thing of Blended Learning. You can’t have eye-contact in two places at once but you can engage (over a time period) with two or more cohorts.

    • NomadWarMachine says:

      Hi Wendy

      I still feel pretty much the same about it. For me, this conference was a chance to finally meet a lot of folk that I know online, and also to catch up with a lot of friends that I only see once in a while at events like ALT-C. To have that time eaten into/taken away to have conversations virtually makes no sense to me. I don’t want to sound as if I don’t want to connect with all of you virtually- I do – but I just feel that ALT-C was not the right time and place for that.

  9. scottx5 says:

    Jacques Derrida “Politics of Friendship” 1997 Translated by George Collins
    Chapter 7 – He Who Accompanies Me
    “[Nature]…has striven by every possible means to bind us together in the tight embrace of kinship and companionship, and has shown in everything she does that her intention was not so much to make us united as to make us one – we cannot doubt that we are by nature free, since we are companions of each other. And nobody can imagine that nature has placed anyone in a position of servitude, since she has made each of us the companion of all the others.” P. 171
    La Boétie
    “Slaves by Choice”
    Trans. Malcolm Smith, Engham: Runnymead Books 1988 p.48

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