When my dad was playing the dating game, pay phones were still around. Remember them? You know those hefty things that used to be on the side of the road? Well, if my dad, who was quite the Casanova in his day, wanted to check in with the girl(s) he fancied, he had to pay 10 or so cents to place a call, and if the conversation ran long, he could rack up quite a bill. Talk about an expensive date!

Even though my high school boyfriend and I were going to separate colleges, we didn’t break up. My dad had a tough time understanding this, preaching to me over and over about branching out, finding someone new and following my own path. Silly dad, didn’t he know that times have changed? It’s the age of text messaging and social media! Against my dad’s sermons, I went to college with a ‘taken’ relationship status. To his dismay, that didn’t change throughout the year.

Older generations argue that today’s culture is more distant than ever, that our society’s socialization and articulation skills are degrading. I disagree. Communication hasn’t gone downhill; it’s simply gone down another path. Yes, we’re more physically distant while conversing, but that doesn’t mean our connection is compromised. In fact, I believe that because of the internet, our dialogue has opened up and we have more opportunities to connect with like-minded people around the world. It’s not a small town world anymore; it’s a global world.

My side hobby is sewing, and on weeknights and weekends, you can find me in my sewing cave – no, not a man cave, a sewing cave. I’ve taken courses on sewing and pattern making at high-ranked colleges and I even worked at a tailor shop. With that said, do you know where I learned most of my skills? Online. By connecting with sewers in the U.S., Europe, Asia, and China, I have become a better seamstress – better than I ever thought. By following along online with a seamstress based out of Tennessee as she made a coat, I picked up tailoring tips that I used when I made my own jacket. Another seamstress based out of Australia made her wedding dress online, and from her, I picked up techniques for working with delicate fabrics such as chiffon and crepe de chine.

The current world’s method of communicating… good or bad? Friend or foe? I say good friend. If there is one thing the internet has taught me, it’s that intimacy is not a result of physical proximity. Intimacy is a byproduct of communicating and that communication can take place face to face or via an Ethernet cord.

Maddie Flanigan

Maddie Flanigan is behind Madalynne, the cool pattern-making and sewing blog. If Steve McQueen was the “King of Cool,” then Madalynne is the “Queen of Cool.” An educational, informational and inspirational blog, Madalynne provides how-to’s and tutorials on pattern-making and all things sewing related. Madalynne also documents the life of Maddie, including her own sewing projects, endeavors and sometimes struggles, so she can serve as an inspiration to her readers.

Maddie is one of our culture bloggers for The Opener, an exclusive, invite-only contributor network that will bring the best food, culture and innovation writing to the pages of Coca-Cola Journey.