I had an odd moment of lucidity a couple of hours ago while recording tomorrow's episode of The TV Show with my friend Dave Wiskus. We were talking about HBO's True Detective and I was recounting how I watched most of it on the plane ride to and from San Francisco for WWDC 2014, and how we had on-board Wi-Fi on the way out but not the return trip. I'd never had it on Air Canada before but after having had it I instantly felt cut-off and disconnecting when I no longer had it. Today it occurred to me that a large part of the reason for that feeling was community. My community exist online and becoming disconnected from it I can only equate to walking out of my hut and suddenly, terrifyingly finding my village empty, devoid of family, friends, and neighbors.
I don't know whether that's a good thing or bad. A joyous thing or sad. But I do know that, in every way that defines it, my community is truly online. Mobile Nations is my community, Kevin, Phil, Daniel, Derek, and Adam. iMore is community, Peter, Ally, Richard, and Joe. Podcasts are my community, Georgia, Guy, Dave, Don, Marc, Matt, and Seth. You are my community in our forums, in the comments, and on Twitter.
Time remains the same but space has been warped by the internet such that I am far from the people who are close and close to people who are far. I know my physical neighbors to say hello to but nothing more. I know my virtual friends in a way that would previously only have been possible hunkered around a news desk or broadcast studio, or around a card table or at a bar.
You are the people I test ideas and opinions with, learn from and fight with, share experiences about apps and movies and TV shows and books and technology and everything else that fills our lives. You're the ones I'm doing #mobilefit with, watching the World Cup with, and waiting for the Game of Thrones finale with.
And you're the ones I miss when the internet goes down, as sorely as I'd have missed my village if I ever walked out of my hut to find them all gone.
What a crazy, wonderful, lonely, exciting world we've become.