Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Connected - the Kindness of Strangers

As is undoubtedly becoming painfully obvious to anyone crazy enough to read this blog, I spend an awful lot of time on my own.  Being self-employed and working from home combined with a narrowing net of single friends (that in itself is the result of a complicated set of circumstances), means that it is far too easy to feel alone.
I am learning however that there is a difference however in being alone and feeling lonely.  It's taken me rather a long time, but I am slowly getting there.  One factor that makes an enormous difference in helping to feel connected is the internet and email.  The saviours of single home workers the developed world over I imagine.  There is enormous comfort to be had from logging on and seeing one's friends are also sat at a screen wherever they may be in the world, and to gain tiny snap shots into their day or thoughts from the 100 characters or so that facebook updates allow.
Being connected is expected of us, particularly in a professional capacity.  It is astonishing that in the space of one or two generations due to mobiles and instant messaging, we have leaped from looking forward to a letter in response to one sent within a week at best, to expecting a response to an emails within minutes.  In order to maintain a professional veneer (and certainly when trying to establish one's own business) it is therefore prudent to have technology to hand that can enable one to respond within a heartbeat.  Unless of course, you have a complete technological blind spot.  I am such a luddite that I have to rely on PNL's visits to the UK to install my new wireless homehub, update my TV freeview - I think you get the picture.  Imagine therefore the cold sweat that broke out when I was faced with setting up emails on my blackberry. I am sad to confess that the air was a vivid shade of turquoise whilst my face was a rather livid puce and the wretched device flew through the air as I hurled it at the sofa in my frustration.
Where oh where is the 'IT help desk' when one is self-employed?  Never had I wanted to hear the words "have you tried turning it off and on again" so keenly. In desperation I plea for help on the message forum for my tiny corner of London. So far this approach had successfully lead to a local plumber and curtain maker.  Could it however deliver an IT advisor?  With a huzzah and yes crikey, I'm delighted to report that the site came up trumps yet again!  A lovely self-employed woman gave me an idiots step by step guide and sure enough, I am connected.  Not just to friends and contacts emailing me, but I am reminded that sometimes, finding a connection can be as simple as reaching out and asking for help.
Thank you Debstar, whoever you are.  I hope that you are sat at your screen with a smile, knowing that you helped someone today.

1 comment:

  1. that's so lovely - started a tad forlorn but ended on such a positive note. XXX