Thursday, March 05, 2009

The Virtual Line

As my three (or is it five?) loyal readers know, I'll say pretty much anything here in my blogs and publish pretty much any self-indulgent picture. Above, me reflected in Turquoise Door shop window, SoCo, with Oaxacan animals and a shadow of...what?

I figure it's a blog. You don't have to come. You can stay away entirely. I rarely (have I ever?) post a link pointing to my blog except on other blogs (and in my info on facebook). I'm not pimping the thing, trying to go viral, whatever. Think of me as off in a corner at the party, talking to myself unless you come over and draw me out.

That facebook thing and message boards present some unique virtual lines, though. Once someone is in your network you have to opt out of seeing what they are up to. And you have a choice really, to just lurk, or post status, notes, etc. there. Today one of the people in my network posted this status: " X shares unrequested advice, third hand: Make every update count." I'm guilty of posting inane things. Or boring ones. But you know what? I don't mind anyone's little status updates. "Going to bed." "Up too late." "Working on a contract." I like it. Some people just hit 'post' on status and it comes out as something like "Joe is." Like a heartbeat. Cool in a way. Showed up and pushed a button. Sort of like those lifelines for old people that go beyond the button and sense whether they are there or make them intentionally check in. I see people I like doing ordinary things. It's cool. The links I don't like so much? People are trying to pimp something and you don't always even know what and you follow the link and it's a video (did I mention I don't much like watching videos online?) or a political diatribe. I don't care about people who are playing games or giving virtual crap to one another. It's not real. Go out and have a real beer and put it in your status.

Yeah, everyone has some virtual line he won't cross in these sort of unreal worlds of social media (what does that phrase mean anyway?). On facebook one thing I don't like to do is ask people to be my friend if I am not sure they would have any idea who I was. Also, even if I know some one perfectly well and would be civil to them and confirm them as a friend, if they are someone that I would not invite to my home then I won't initiate the friend connection. If they initiate, though, then fine. Does that make sense? Sometimes people suggest I be friends with someone and I'm just not sure who they are, sadly.

It's la-la land out there, almost as surreal as the real world where we bump up against strangers, acquaintances and friends in odd ways. We all have our odd rules and boundaries there. So it's no surprise that the cyberworld has people with lots of differing opinions sliding around against each other. And it's no surprise to me, given my propensity to occasionally sit in a corner at parties, that I sometimes feel like leaving message boards, other people's comment threads and facebook behind to slide into the cul-de-sac of a blog. And one with moderated comments at that.

Things are just layered and nuanced out there. No one straightforward path. And, oh, that shadow. I think I know what made it.


Annie in Austin said...

Button for old people is funny. Maybe my kids won't worry about me as long as they can see my lame tweets.

The earrings I have on right now came from The Turquoise Door. Your photos may have changed my perception of that shop!


deb said...

I really don't like the Facebook type interaction. I have accounts with LiveJournal, Facebook, Myspace, and Wordpress. There are probably a couple others that I've forgotten about. I started out with Blogger and I've sort of gotten comfortable with it. I could do the same with other of the more journal emphasis. I feel like the Facebook and Myspace sites are too chatty. I don't really want to be chatty, I just want to write and then maybe hear what a few others think about what I'm doing or writing about. Anyway, I maintain those 'other' accounts because of my volunteer work and because a couple RL friends are there and wanted me along.

So I sit at Blogger and write. If and when I feel like it. If I want to chat, I'll call or email.