So I was flipping through (is that the right phrase?) blogs today, and I came across an interesting discussion of this thing called Ambient Intimacy. I like this idea, I think--it seems to be a sort of corrective to the scary/gigantic/randomness of the Internet... Reconnecting with old friends via Myspace (I recently met the ten year old daughter of my best friend in elementary school--she and I lost touch after she got married, and I missed her. Meeting the kid was icing on the cake), playing poker and chess with friends who live a thousand miles away, checking out recent pictures and sending your own to friends and family, following the lives of distant acquaintances (especially some really smart folks I've met at school and conferences) are all mainfestations of this turn.
Of course, I do have to mention the simulational aspects of such a mediated intimacy--there are several layers to these online connections that could stand some intimate investigation of their own.
But, for now, I like the idea of these connections. Especially considering the upcoming sea changes I and many of my newly hired buddies are going to experience in the next few months. It's comforting to know that I can still see their sweet faces and learn about their adventures when we are living thousands of miles away from each other. We can maintain, if we work at it, some semblance of daily interaction with one another, so we won't, ideally, have to reconnect ten years down the road.