Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Seeking deeper layers in each other

Originally uploaded by DC Smith.
I was reminded today of the beautiful complexity of human beings that sometimes gets hidden when we only see one or two layers of a person. Online, it is easy to just see or perceive one layer of a person. You may experience them through just one medium and let that be your perception of them. A twitter stream may convey one layer, blogs another, F2F surely many more. Different offerings in these media over time can expose layers. But often with extended networks, we can get stuck at one layer for those on the outer rings of our network.

Today I got to see another layer of a person through both F2F and online in a conference back channel. This is a person whose thinking I have enjoyed via blog and general reputation in my network (smart!), but for some reason my sense of this person was just the clever, snarky bit. I enjoy clever and snarky. But I had not had a deeper sense of the person.

Then this person engaged in a thoughtful back channel dialog with our youngest participant. This funny, snarky person revealed another layer. The variety, the switch up was really helpful for me to witness.

Tonight I went back and read this person's blog. My "reading" had more depth. The painting had more colors. Granted, I still know very little of this person. My assumptions though, may be perhaps a bit more informed.

In any case, I am grateful to be reminded that it is worth the time to dig for, or take notice of other layers. My respect for this person has grown and I will pay attention to them in a new way.



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