I have really good vision. I can usually read road signs way before anyone else in the car can. I can read the last line on the eye doctors chart. I have been known to be called Eagle Eyes a couple times in my life. A couple of months ago I found out that these Eagle Eyes are getting old, or at least getting far sighted. You can imagine my devastation as I sat down at the eye glasses table to try on new glasses to help my problem. Once I got my glasses it was like I was seeing a whole new world (I think there is a Disney song about that). Interesting enough, when we get up close we can start seeing people more clearly. People always look good from a distance.
Distance is safety and control. These two things are something that we all clamor for. If we can be safe and in control things look good, but as soon as we become vulnerable and lose control things get crazy. The same can be said about who we are following. I always remember as a kid looking up to people and thinking they were incredibly tall. It amazed me at how big they looked. This amazement went away as I hit my teenage years. Maybe it was reality setting in, or maybe it was because I was now eye to eye with the people I looked up to, but things looked different. In a world that makes all things public and yet keeps things very surface level, seeing things up close can bring a reality to who we are following. People look different when you are up close and personal.
There are a lot of things you do not know about me. I am sure there is a lot of things that I do not know about you. in this online world we can look however we want and can create a persona that we wish we had. I will never forget meeting a guy that I have been following for a long time on his blog and twitter stream and him telling me later that I was a completely different person in “real life” then I was on the web. That bothered me for a while. I thought I was the same, acted the same, talked the same, and looked the same. But I was missing the fact that from a distance we all look different. From a distance we all can look a certain way.
This has become painfully obvious in the people we follow. It amazes me how much we go after knowing everything about “famous” people and then become shocked to find out they are not who we thought they were. Sometimes I wonder why we want to know so much about someone. I think the main reason is we want to be able to be close to them and not held at a distance. This leads us to follow every word they say on twitter, watch every interview they give, and hope for the chance to be their friend. Only to find out that they were not who we thought they were. I think we do this with ourselves as well. We stand at a distance from God and hide things, keeping Him far away and keeping us in charge of our lives.
This new year I am working on being up close and personal. Instead of creating a look, a feel, or even a persona, I want to be someone who looks the same from a distance to up close and personal. Not only with friends, but with God, I am working on letting down the barriers that keep things safe more me. The web may create some distance between us all, but it does not leave the excuse to be someone else.