It's commonly considered something that disconnects us from each other, from ourselves, from reality, and it can definitely be a dark and scary place.The youtube comment section alone is a terrifying arena filled with cruelty and anonymous harshness.
However, the internet can also be a place of beauty, comfort and healing.
About three months ago, I unexpectedly and forever lost someone in my life far too soon.
Having had the misfortune of experiencing something very similar within recent years, I knew I needed to find a new way to cope that didn't involve too many bottles of chardonnay and too many hours of denial.
I knew I couldn't continue to lay in bed, focusing on all the countless things he'll never be able to experience.
I had to find an outlet, a resource to pour my grief into that was outside of myself and my situation.
Enter the internet.
There are so many countless opportunities that the internet provides us with, and I began to take advantage of all of them.
Through the amazingness of Spotify, I found a way channel suffering through music.
I discovered new Jazz, something he loved so desperately and it makes me feel connected to his spirit.
I found songs to relate to and words to live by.
I spent hours curled up on the couch letting the thoughtful melodies and lyrics help me process.
I found websites that offered wisdom and advice. Facts and information that I desperately needed during a time of painful confusion.
Social networking played a large hand in working through as well.
Thanks to Facebook I was able to connect with loved ones and receive words of love, kindness and hope.
I could g-chat and email with friends and family members all at once so I didn't have to relive the pain with countless personal phone calls.
I shared pictures and memories with friends and family, and had a place to save things.
Family members and I bonded over youtube videos and memes - distractions, things to make us smile and feel hopeful.
Through my blog, I was able to write, process and create. My readers' comments and support have helped me feel connected and like I have an impact.
There are so many individuals connected through this bizarre and beautiful electronic world we've created. The thought of it is staggering.
We have a community that allows us to remain attached while maintaining a dazzling level of disconnect and anonymity if we choose to.
I connected with other bloggers, and I found things through other writers that helped me think. I was encouraged by people's work and enthusiasm.
Slowly I started to feel inspired again by seeing the work people are putting out there and experiencing all the zest for life that people share through this crazy communal universe.
Grief changes shape, but it never ends. It becomes a part of you.
Life is precious and fragile, and I am by no means remotely saying that Twitter makes loss bearable or that one can ever recover from losing a loved one. No way, no how.
But some part of me has to thank this bizarre beautiful world we've created in the ether for somehow softening the pain.