Connecting Beyond One Tool

Maintaining human connection is important. We talk all of the time about communication being key in relationships. Relationships at any level, of any type. Communication… starts with having a way to reach one another. It is curling up in bed. It is sitting over coffee or some other random beverage. It is a phone call. It is connecting on social media.

I really like Facebook. Don’t get me wrong. I have a personal page and a professional page, pages for some of my books (the Shibari You Can Use books, both Sacred Kink books, and Playing Well With Others).

It’s not bad as a tool for contact, and for having people find me and my information. It’s kind of fun to see my random feed pop up with folks from around the globe, though I didn’t know that friends had moved to Idaho and Italy until a year later- because of a random post that came across my screen.

The sticker on the back of the envelope.

The sticker on the back of the envelope.

But? I’m sad that in today’s day and age we only tend to have one point of contact for folks. We know each other through a single media program – and if Facebook goes down, most of us will be left high and dry for connection. Business connections, friendships, travel contacts, family and more.

It’s been a reminder to me to get people’s phone numbers. Email addresses. Twitter accounts. Hell- addresses.

I got a letter in the mail from a friend the other day. It came with a sticker on the back, a simple page front and back on lined paper. A simple thing of beauty- her address in the top left-hand corner. I felt a lot of love, and I know that if I were in a pinch, I now have the capacity to show up on her doorstep. I can head to Dv8 in Phoenix, Cauldron Farm in Massachusetts, to Peak’s Island, Maine. Their locations are etched in my heart.

This includes backing up our social contacts off of our phones onto paper. I know that in a digital world so many of us backup onto cloud systems, but those are ephemeral as well. A server goes down, and our friends go down with it.

Fetlife is the worst in many ways for this concern. This social media system has become a huge boon for so many sexual adventurers from around the globe. We can truly find each other, find events, build communities… but all it would take is one legal scandal and the servers could get pulled.

I offer a challenge. Go get an email address from just one person who you like to connect with on a social media site. If it feels appropriate, get a phone number or mailing address (and don’t post it around accidentally by linking it to your Google+ account, putting it in your publicly accessible calendar, or similar – that is not cool). Have ways to connect, just in case it goes down.

I dare you. Go out, and connect… beyond one tool.

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Lee Harrington

Lee Harrington is an internationally known sexuality, relationships, and personal authenticity educator. Having taught in all 50 states and in 6 countries, he brings a combination of playful engagement and thoughtful academic dialogue to a broad audience. An award-winning author and editor on gender, sexual, and sacred experience, his books include “Traversing Gender: Understanding Transgender Journeys,” and "Sacred Kink: The Eightfold Paths of BDSM and Beyond," among many other titles. He has been blogging online since 1998, and been teaching worldwide since 2001. Welcome to his world, and your chance to expand your mind and heart alike.

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