Today I visited something that I have seen pictures of and copies of, in fact I have seen it play a part in a couple of weddings. I visited the ‘Love’ sculpture by Robert Indiana in JFK Plaza in downtown Philadelphia and got to see it IRL (in real life). It was not what I was expecting. It is actually quite small, it is only about 2 metres tall and sits on a metal frame over 2 metres off the ground so you can’t touch it. I’m glad I went, but I was disappointed. I thought it would be bigger plus I didn’t realise that it is red and green. The front and back are red but the rest is green. This often isn’t clear in photos.
It is funny how seeing things in real life can be a disappointment. Seeing hundreds of images of some thing or some where online does make it seem a little real. The real thing can feel not real enough when you actually see it. But I think it always worth seeing the real thing if you can.
So here’s a picture of me and the real ‘Love’ sculpture.
After a genuinely blog worthy day of a seminar about disclosure on social media, a government open data event, dinner with a geeky librarian friend comparing apps and hashtags (more on all of those great events in the next few days). It was coming home and finding my friends in my computer that has really made my day.
I love my computer and my smartphone because my friends live inside them. Opening my laptop in bed and trying to compose my blog post, it was ‘Kim messaged you’ flashing on a tab on my web browser that really made my day.
My friend Kim lives in the UK and I have known her since I was 18 and being able to sit in bed and chat to her in real time about her beautiful children and my day is just miraculous.
My parents and I moved to the UK when I was 12 and I remember on Christmas Day is was my job to ‘phone home’. I would get the phone, sit on the floor with Mum’s address book and start dialling very long phone numbers on a rotary dial and keep my fingers crossed we would get a line. It often took several attempts to get a connection and when we did we would rush through all our thank yous and news because everyone knew that the call was costing a fortune.
Now I can chat via text or wave via Skype at friends and family around the world and around the corner. I remember once when cat sitting for my parents, much to the cats disgust holding her up to the webcam to prove to my parents that she was still alive.
The technology that makes such connections possible is truly amazing but when we connect we forget the technology, it dissolves into the background. I’m just chatting to Kim about our plans for the weekend and the weather, just like we used to over cups of coffee in her front room. And it is truly wonderful.
So when you see me staring intently at a screen, please don’t assume that I am ignore the real world or that I’m wasting time, because more than likely I’m connecting, chatting and communicating with one of my wonderful friends that live in my pocket.
And to prove that I do have ‘friends’ in real life and because blogs look better with pictures, here is a picture of Blossom, the grumpy looking cat, my bedtime companion who often likes to sits on my laptop as it is toasty warm.