Before I start…
Yeah… That. (-_-)
Silly video. Good for a laugh. But, it’s here for a reason. (>_<)
I sort of wonder what introverts did before the internet. Actually, not really. I remember. When I was a kid, my days rotated around listening to music, fixing the old radio, watching movies, fixing the old VCR, video games, fixing the old console, and sorting out what can be built from the computer junk that I pick up. (._.)
Actually… I still have a few. A PCjr, 386, and 486… All still functional. All suffering the Y2K bug. (>_<)
I picked up the guitar somewhere around 15 or 16. That got fun for a while. I still have my first. Picked up more instruments over time, as money and space allowed. (-_-)
Anyway, yeah… Self occupation. The demonspawn of an introvert and time. (._.)
That’s been okay for a while. Actually for quite a long time.
Even my marriage involved introversion as a catalyst. Someone who pitied me due to my very consistent and routine under-eating and far-back-distant-corner presence in the break room. I’m not sure if it could have happened any other way.
But, now we have internet. I remember being on AOL chat rooms, not knowing what to say and just watching the words scroll by. Wasn’t very good there. I never had an image of who would want to chat with me, so, I found it best that I didn’t interfere.
Email helped a lot. Both of my jobs involved communication with Email. If I had to make a phone call… I’d probably still be unemployed.
Telephone… My nemesis.
Telephones are in our pockets now. For any minute of any given day, we’re at the beck of anyone who knows our ‘number’. Whatever your ringtone may be, it’s your personal indicator that you must communicate via contraption NOW! Even if it is only about the cat piddling in the hallway.
Talking is so yesterday, though. Now we chat.
BBS, newsgroups, Geocities, forums, blogs, Myspace, Twitter, Plurk, Facebook…
4 or 5 years ago I started coming to the realization that my life involved me never leaving my room… Except for work and groceries. I looked into online gaming and found whatever was available to be a stress. Too much hack&slash, view everyone as a threat, spawncamping, and so on. I found it bad for my health. The stress levels made me physically ill.
Sony promised Playstation Home. A virtual environment where people can meet. Almost like a game, but, not a game. No levels, simulated combat, or creatures to defeat.
I joined Second Life for a while. AGP graphics at the time. My computer was being overwhelmed. I try to ride it out and meet some people inworld. Faced only with dislike and confrontation, I quit. My attempt at being social failed.
Come back a half year later and forgot my password. Made a new account and got along with people better. It seemed to work out just fine. Particularly compared to before.
I’ve made quite a few friends. Good, supportive, and close friends. A far better claim than I can make about my RL counterpart. But, nearly everyone I’ve met so far has no intereset in meeting me. What happens behind avatars, stays behind avatars. So, I can’t hear the accents I’m so deeply fascinated in. No faces. No names. Just attributes of an avatar and the infrequent claim that somone looks just like their avatar.
So, how do I expand from here/there?
I’m already blogging. Twitter. Plurk… So, I’m sharing quite a bit in hope that someone who matches my style can hook up with me. Desperate? Lonely? Sure, why not?
Once in a while, I get advice about using what I’ve ‘learned’ in SL to augment my social skills in RL. Thing is, much of what I do in SL already reflects the flaws of my RL nature. So… Online RL contacts should work, no?
So, I set up a Facebook profile, and it sits blank. I don’t actually know anybody
Wondering what I’m doing wrong, I ask inworld… I’m not offering friendships to anyone.
So, I pick a profile and click the Add As Friend button. I get this rather stark sounding popup asking “Do youknow this person?”… Well, no, I don’t. So, I can’t bring myself so go ahead with it.
Wondering what I’m doing wrong, I ask inworld… I’m too worried about rejection. Just go through with adding.
Not wanting my adds to be total strangers, I pick out a few recognizable names from SL.
When I face little luck there, I start joining groups and sending “like”s to things.
I found, in the group screen, I can open up a popup that lists everyone with each profile having the “Add as friend” button to the right. So, click-click-click, sure, yeah, whatever… I’ll say I know the person since I’m risking it anyway.
After a minute or so of that I start getting “Blocking to avoid abuse” popups. So, I click to go to my profile, but, I don’t… I find I’ve been logged out by an admin. While logging back in, I’m stuck with answering a few questions asking me if I understand how to properly use the service.
Day goes by with a couple acceptances and some additional offers. Flying though things. Seems to be productive… But, I was playing it like a button mashing game.
Like that video I embedded above. I made a lot of noise, sort of accomplished what I was after, but in the flow of it all I made a mess of things and the end result was far from what was expected.
I dove into murky and unfamiliar waters head-first. There was shrapnel just beneath the surface. This is going to leave permanent scars.
I looked at the situation a bit and see what I had missed and where I went wrong. What ever my hopes were for in this endeavor, I wound up going a whole other direction. Being a failed experiment, I simply killed the subject. I deleted my account. I don’t know what inertia the situation had, so, cutting things completely seemed the most reasonable thing to do.
But, that’s just it… Extreme socialization. When online, things can move at the speed of light. Far beyond what our logic and apprehension can manage.
I’m left wondering; how social should I really try to be?
Have I done enough in SL to occupy myself along with others?
Does it really matter if I have RL friends or not?
Is it healthy for me to stay in this room?
Is socialization worth the risks at all?
Are there people who simply shouldn’t socialize?
Am I one of them?