I Need A Hug Upgrade. By Kat Fierce

July 9, 2009

Imagine all your friends suddenly disappeared.

But only physically. They still existed, but the only way you could communicate with them was online. You know, IM, social networking etc. You’ll see the on screen “LOL,” but never hear it. There’s plenty of “xx” but never any tongue. They type, “What’s up?” But there’s no little hug hello.

I like hugging. (If the friend happens to be hot, I like “enhanced hugging.”) A friend’s physical presence is the most effective conduit of emotion. It’s the sanctuary of shared experience. Basically, when I’m with you, I feel you, yo.

I like emotion. It comes from your gut. So, I have a bit of a bone to pick with blogging: You can’t touch it. (And yes, seeing that I’m blogging this second, I realize the irony of this confession.) I guess you could stroke the computer screen, but good luck getting the grease marks off your monitor, Señor Handsy. As for the rest of us, the only sense entertained while digesting a blog is our sight. That’s one of five. When you look at it that way, I dare say technology is somewhat cheating us.

Once upon a time in a land without the Internet, a bunch of chicks had an idea. Well that, a photocopier, and perhaps a few safety pins in their t-shirts. But regardless of the threads that graced their backs, these rebels had an objective: hold up a certain finger to the established girlie magazines while simultaneously publishing their own zines. Women are nothing if not killer multitaskers.

The particular name many chicks pinned to their chest was “Riot Grrrl.” But in reality, it doesn’t matter what they called themselves, or if they donned Chucks or heels or safety pins in their nose. The fact is, they got their hands dirty and gluey, taking home paper-cut battle wounds. Fed up with the lip glossy fake magazines that preached which pumps to flaunt and lips to pout, they wrote about stuff that mattered to them. Photocopied it, stapled it, and published it. They spread ideas about punk and politics, relationships and art. DIY (do it yourself) was their mantra, and they kicked ass doing it.

I guess you could argue that blogging is the modern zine, and that’s somewhat correct.  But also completely wrong. Here’s the thing. Like I said before, creativity is thoughtfully channeled emotion. And emotions are best experienced through your five senses. The more senses that feel it, the better you’ll understand where the creator is coming from. How much more powerful is live music over the notes that pour from a stereo? Someone can TYPE IN CAPS ALL DAY, but it doesn’t stir you as much as hearing that person scream in your face. Your significant someone can IM how much they heart you, but only a kiss can touch your heart. (Ok, major eye-roll. But true. Unless you really like making out with your laptop.) So no matter how hard your post rocks the virtual casbah, it will get under more people’s skin if they can touch it and hold it and display it on their bookshelf. If they can cut it up and paste it all over their journal. If they can have the undoubtedly emotional and nostalgic experience of finding it five years later in their “Senior Year” shoebox. And when you pump your proverbial sweat and tears into an original invention of the crazy inner-workings of your mind, aren’t sharing your feelings kind of the point?

Don’t get me wrong. (Which, given the nature of this medium, is entirely possible.) I love blogging.  I can dip into my mental bucket of randomness and write about whatever nutzo philosophy that’s in there – including my theory that cactuses are actually humans in fancy plant costumes. (I mean c’mon. Just look at them.) I’m pretty much obsessed with blogging. If it were a crush who turned me down, I’d probably stalk it. But it’s not a crush. It’s the Internet. The Internet can’t walk (or run away.) You can try to hug it, but you’ll end up flailing your hands around in the air, filled with unrequited affections. For all its jazz and pizzazz, the Internet can sometimes be so cold.

Internet devotees, don’t despair. I’m not calling for the death of blogging, but rather the undeath of zines. We need both, for creativity’s sake. If you’ve got something to say, I want to feel you. And if you’re with me, here are your instructions: At the end of this blog, go start a zine. Name it, write it, cut it, paste it. Smudge the ink, spill your proverbial guts onto the page, DIY all the way. Hand it out at shows. Pass it under desks. Give it to everyone you know. Give your friends a squeeze while you’re at it. And if you happen to be 6′ 3” with a little bit of scruff and a penchant for quirky films and satire, give me a call. I need a hug upgrade.

Comments (30)
  • yemek tarifleri I appreciate your website greatly. Will read more. Keep up to marvelous work on it. Gracias Fri Jun 04, 2010
  • 150cc motor scooters That was a really good post,I just subscribed to your feed. Sun May 02, 2010
  • free magazines by mail That was a decent read,I look forward to some more post from you. Thu Apr 29, 2010
  • Riley Wow.....You're A Very Good Writerr... I Tottaly Agree.. Can't Feel It Unless It's Real.... Soo Unreal In Person.. It's Not The Same..Unless Its In Person xP x.RileySILENTLY Sat Mar 06, 2010
  • Hannah i agree, but the key to an all electonic world has got to start somewhere. btw, kiddos to the writed. i love the way you write...i am a writer myself, but not professional by any means. Wed Dec 02, 2009
  • DiAnA tOrReS CONVERES R AWSOME!!!!!! I LOVE THEM!!!! THEY ROCK!!!!! PS: PEACE 2 ALL THE PEOPLE WHO WHERE CONVERES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! i am not a hippie though!! Tue Dec 01, 2009
  • LINKY Wow. that rocked! Wed Oct 28, 2009
  • mar I love all of your posts. I agree with you. Three friends and I are actually making a zine... online. HAHAH. Oh, well. It's DIY all the same and we're channeling our creativity into it. What I'm saying is, the Internet may not be enough but when you mould it into something creatively, it may just be enough. 'May'. Don't hold me up on that, ahaha. Mon Sep 07, 2009
  • Person404 This is so true. I know I'm pretty much repeating what everyone else said, but I don't even care. I totally agree. Sometimes I'm inside, on the computer, and I'm IMing someone or whatever, and it's a beautiful sunny day outside but I can't bring myself to get up and go out because then I'd be lonlier than I already am, just talking to someone, not even seeing their face. Also, I hate how you can't use intonation or anything. It pretty much kills sarcasm, and I live for sarcasm. : ) Mon Sep 07, 2009
  • suu WOW! I think this is totally true! I think the same way, I like being on IM and all the stuff, but its completely different from talking to someone in person. Sometimes Im talking with 10 people on IM but I feel kinda lonely because Im not seeing anyone. Its great that we can communicate so easily with people that dont live in the same town that us, or even with our neighbors; but nothing compares to talking face to face with someone, to hear them say what they want to say instead of hearing yourself reading it...its really different. Sat Sep 05, 2009
  • rachel i love this post. i met one of my best frriends online. we have known eachother for 3 years before we actually met in person. i just met him in person exactly a week ago, and it was so amazing. so much better than through an IM. i heard his laugh instead of seeing him type "lol", and he actually hugged me instead of typing *hug*. i sent this post to him, and he agrees with me :] Mon Aug 24, 2009
  • keri I agree whole heartily with you. Yes, the Internet is a great creation, but most of the time it is just not enough. I moved away from my best friends and keep in touch on the internet, yet I can't help but feel even more lonely. I wont be comforted unless I see them and spend time with them. You make a great point, and I can't wait to make a Zine!! Sun Aug 23, 2009
  • katie hey true cause i always have t talk to my boyfriend on the phone and i just wish he was with me cause im miss him so much! Sat Aug 22, 2009
  • jobel what if I'm only 5'8"!!??? I would like to give you a call! Wed Aug 19, 2009
  • mariferh For some time I've been thinking of spreading my opinions publicly, but have had no idea how. Even if I had a Blog, i doubt anyone would read it lol. Thank you for this article, it has really encourage me, and I will start working on a Zine =) I hope seeing my bff on friday to hug her! Best Wishes Tue Aug 18, 2009
  • carolyn To true. I hate texting and it takes me forever to type just one word because I hardly ever text. A lot of my friends say "why call someone when you could just text? Its faster.", and I say because you can't hear the emotion in their voice. I always pick hanging out in person over calling, or texting, or IM etc. Mon Aug 17, 2009
  • Rhett I'm 6'2'' and apparently I give good hugs...hehe. Mon Aug 17, 2009
  • hmmm I remember being in London for six months during college. It seemed impossibly far away from my girlfriend (now wife) at the time, and the phone did not cut it. However, I used to play warcraft, and I have to admit that some decent relationships were forged based on non-physical interaction. Some relationships could only form because of that. Of course, most of that was gone when I stopped playing, and anything that remains had some real life connection to begin with, but still, there is something to be said for virtual friends. Sun Aug 16, 2009
  • Litha I am so with you about hugging and advanced hugging...we are so affection-deprived in this online culture... Wed Aug 12, 2009
  • G I think thats so true. You will never feel the same way about a person unless you actually get out of the chair your sitting in and meet them in person, not by having them read whatever the buttons your fingers are pushing spell out. Nice blog. Tue Aug 11, 2009
  • pretty black hello i like dis website and da shoes Thu Aug 06, 2009
  • Kiya I have never really thought about it that way. I totally agree though, seeing or reading I love you is not as understood as hearing it and actually knowing the truth. Anyone can write something but you will never know how they really feel unless you hear it from their own mouthes and see emotion in their eyes. Personally, I feel the same way about phone conversations, anyone can say something and make it sound real or sound emotionally correct. Thank you for sharing this post with me. Wed Aug 05, 2009
  • illiya hey..i have a boyfriend and i miss him!we havent meet for a month and i always feel that i want his hug.. Sun Aug 02, 2009
  • Rosalie I feel the exact same way. i talk to someone on the phone all the time but i dont feel the same way a lot. its like i miss you so much but you dont rezlly feel that spark!!! Fri Jul 31, 2009
  • Nessie This post is so true. You never get the same sense of someone's emotions when your staring at an LCD screen. Only the raw emotions of being face to face with someone can bring you joy or sorrow or whatever. I personally am a fan of texting but i so much prefer so see the person i'm gabbing with... Tue Jul 28, 2009
  • Ana I love this post. And it's totally true that it's not the same when someone's talking to you on the computer verse face to face. I have a friend that is constantly texting, and I'm not a big fan of texting. It's hard to understand her actual feelings when she writes that she's sad or something fantastic happened to her that day. But when you do speak to her, she's quiet and shy. Maybe talking without actually talking is her way of expressing her emotions . . . Tue Jul 28, 2009
  • amy wow that was long and confusin but im not that smart so...... Mon Jul 27, 2009
  • cat exactly the way i feel around this house that is huge that i live in but no one to quite see or no one to quite see me. no wonder i need my friends Sun Jul 26, 2009
  • shaniya not bad i feel the same way sometimes Sun Jul 26, 2009
  • Monii i think this is so true because my boyfriend is in florida and im in charlotte and i have to talk to him through the phone and myspace and i always think i want him here eith me right now so when he sys i love you it feels so much realer...... Sat Jul 25, 2009
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