You Never Call, You Never Write: One Woman’s Existential Internet Crisis
December 28, 2011 in This Is The Internet
Funny, it’s been so long that I’m not quite sure whether I’m Irish Breakfast, Irishbreakfast or IrishBreakfast—call me IB. It’s odd, how soon we forget—really forget, not in a clichéd “oh god I just can’t remember” way. I can’t remember my Wordsmoker, Facebook or Gmail password, and because my IB “identity” was set to a not-really-me gmail, it’s all gone. Well, it’s all still there but I can no longer access that part of my life, at least in those particular venues.
I ducked out from Wordsmoker and Facebook last May, when I went off on the usual summer adventure. It didn’t turn out well, and that’s all I’m saying about that. The physical, emotional and financial repercussions were such that I didn’t think about IB until sometime around October, and then it was only to wonder that I’d ever had so much free time to write (outside of things that I’m required to write). And, to be honest, to wonder that I’d ever ‘cared’ so much for people that I didn’t know.
When I began to creep back into the world at large, I did think about writing. Writing for me. This led to Wordsmoker. Which led to me feeling guilty, as if I’d stood everyone up, until I thought: Whoa. Wait a minute! No one contacted me!! This was followed by an astonishing, strident reappearance of my inner two year-old: Why didn’t anyone contact me? (I checked the obits! -Ed.)
It is a rational question. I was an active contributor and commenter here for a few months. Nothing earthshattering, but I spoke with a few WS people on the phone, and privately emailed several more. (Nothing kinky, sillies.) I let everyone know I was heading out, and… gee. I’ve been trying to think whether I’d seek out someone who seemingly simply disappeared from any blog/social media context, and I think that I would. But it’s rather moot because it was me that dropped out.
I should disclose up front that my interaction with Wordsmoker and subsequent Facebook shenanigans were my first foray into those brave new(ish) worlds. I’m hopeless at this stuff, and likely apply rules of engagement and etiquette that are not apropos. But that’s precisely what bothers me most about these types of interactions: they’re too easy. I know: Insights R Us. Yes, easy is the point. But sites such as Wordsmoker also strive to create community, for better or worse. And community, done right, is hard. Like most human interactions, it requires work. But there is no investment, and we can, each, simply walk away from any such virtual community, at any time.
People are sheep; we all know it. What we frequently overlook is that each one of us is also a sheep. Baaaa. Put me in my job and I’m at home, and in control. Put me here, and IB is just as insecure as anyone else on this blog, and probably far more insecure than many. For me, Facebook just added to the problem. I jostled with the popular sheep, nipping as I saw fit. That’s not me, and it’s not necessary. Being human is messy, relationships are messy and, from what I’ve seen, virtual communities are really messy. Unless, of course, you have the capacity to simply walk away, in which case any such relationship—communal or individual– is the virtual equivalent of a zipless fuck.
I’m no zipless fuck, but I can give indulgence a run for its money. Here I am, taking up space and readers’ time with nothing much more to report then the fact that I’ve been doggo for 6 months. I offer a few musings, but there will be no swashbuckling stories. Sometimes life is just a matter of getting through one day, and then the next. Sometimes, six months seems an impossible goal. But here I am.
So, what’s everyone been up to?