I was flattered recently to have an early post (12+ years is practically ancient in cyberlandia!) about flanerie (“What is a Flâneur?“) resurface in the blogosphere courtesy of The Concerned Canadian. In “The Art of Walking: Lessons from my Uncle” the author introduces us to his Uncle Philly, a wise, wondering, and wide-wandering Dublin flaneur.
It’s a good read.
The author touches on the difference between real life encounters (i.e. flesh-and-blood, non-digital interaction).
People want to know people. The current generation attempts to replicate this experience through the use of social networking and long distance communication. What’s missing though is the closeness which can only be created through face to face communication. (Source: The Concerned Canadian)
A Fuzzy Phantom of Face-to-Face
He’s on to something. I’ve ruminated before on the upside of digital flanerie, but the relative retreat from face-to-face interaction is real. Digital social networks and long distance interaction are remarkable in many respects, especially for those of us who remember life before the internet, mobile phones, 24×7 connectivity, etc. But they are at best a fuzzy phantom of face-to-face interaction.
I am a collector of people, much to the regret of my tolerant bride, so I’m an easily sympathetic and an enthusiastic audience for The Concerned Canadian. It pleased me beyond description to read the words of a self-described millennial touting the merits of real life, face-to-face flanerie!