Feeling Connected – The Sequel

Doh! <slaps forehead> How could I be such an idiot? I was thinking about what I said in my last post about “Feeling Connected” and was remembering back to a comment I’d made on a website about gaming culture, about how emotions are a strong element of the word cinematic (i.e. movie-like). Then I started thinking about stories and wondered what is the core element of a store that connects us. I realized it isn’t the story itself. The story needs an ingredient for that connection to occur. Think about it. If I told a story about how I went to the corner store to grab a litre of milk, you’d be like “Who cares!”. Exactly. Yet, when thousands of people shared their stories about 9/11, it was the emotions that raged through those stories that connected people all around the world and make them care. We shared in their sorrow and loss emotionally. Of course the icing on the cake is when I looked at my subject title for my last post which was “Feeling Connected”. When I saw “feeling” in this instance, it isn’t referring to “touching” something, it is referring to the emotional feelings inside of us. So when I say I’m “feeling connected” to everyone around the world, I’m really saying I’m feeling “emotionally” connected with everyone. Our emotions are what connect us the most because emotions (such as love) create the greatest invisible bonds or connections between each of us.

So how are these emotional connections made? Well, I think pretty much as I said in my last post. It is almost as though when we hear a story that stirs our emotions, this virtual holodeck is created in our imagination which make us share the experience within the story. It is the same thing that happens when we watch a great movie. Here’s my comment from the website on gaming culture captures what I’m trying to say here and wraps it up nicely.

If you’ve ever read a really great book or watched an incredible movie, ask yourself what made you enjoy it so much? For me it is not just the vividness of the environment that is being relayed but more importantly it is the emotional connections that are created between myself and the medium. It is these emotional connections that put me in the shoes of my hero because emotionally I’ve been in the same situation he or she may be put in. The only difference is usually the scope of the conflict. I may face dissention from a group of co-workers and have to win back their support, whereas he may face dissention among the crew of his pirate ship and have to win back their support. Different scope, same emotions.

Again let me refer to what I said yesterday about the difference between having sex and making love because again this is a perfect example. Having sex is like a story without an emotional element, whereas making love is a story with a deep emotional element to it. And I think this is why I’m having this “empty” feeling with regards to the Web right now. I’m not finding very many “emotional connections” on the Web right now and thus it isn’t giving me the meaning I’m looking for. If we could create connections that someone contain deep emotional meaning for us all though, then I think the Web would finally make us all truly “feel” connected instead of justing being connected. The final question is what is required to create these emotional connections? Do we just need to change our content and structure it to create these emotional connections or does it require a technological evolution of the Web to achieve this?

Oh, one last thought. Remember I said I couldn’t understand why I feel so connected out in nature, all alone? Well, if we look at emotions as being the ingredient for this state of connectedness, then it fits in perfectly. I “feel” connected within nature because of all the emotions I am having within it which in turn makes me feel connected with everyone else.