My world and welcome to it

November 14, 2009


Today I lived my life vicariously through some people I don???t know. I???m learning about them as a result of frequenting the same online social space. I know them about as well as this drawing is similar to a photograph.

That doesn???t mean it isn???t fun or satisfying. In the real world, I???m not good at staying in touch. I???m even worse at getting together. So this online business works for me. I get some social interaction without as many demands on my inertia. I get to develop friendships with people who like me back in the same way. Sometimes I even feel popular.

I???m an only child, and I???ve always been good at amusing myself with no outside help. As the years go by, I seem to be getting better and better at it. Now I would adapt that statement to say that I???m very good at keeping busy with little face-to-face interaction. Maybe I???m becoming one of those antisocial internetter statistics. Maybe in 10 years I???ll be up to 42 cats.

I???m not saying I don???t like being around people (well, maybe a little). Sometimes I do just want to go out and do something. Some of you will remember a few weeks ago when I was wailing about not having somebody, anybody who I could call up for a spontaneous outing. Usually I am pretty okay with keeping to myself. I felt lonely that night.

I would say I have two generations of online friends. My first-generation circle consists of people who are friends with someone I actually know in person, who moved to California a few years ago. There is him, and also the people I think of as his first tier of friends because they do stuff together all the time. Then there is what I think of as his second tier, the friends of the friends who he doesn???t hang out with as often. I have met the first tier in person. And I have someone in the second tier to give a great big thank you to for introducing me to the website where I am now getting to know my second generation of online friends.

I don???t really know where I???m going with this. I like getting to know my online friends better; today I had a video chat via Skype with two of my second generation friends who are in London. I thought that was pretty exciting, and it provided a small consolation for the impossibility of my being able to join the group for their evening outing. Some of them in more geographically friendly circumstances are taking advantage of the opportunity to meet each other in person. 

The drawing is how I imagine the evening might have gone.

One Response to “My world and welcome to it”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    Well, you reached out to me. Sorry I couldn’t get to the SF. Still on for a meet-up?

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