As I said in the last post, I like to know what makes people tick. The online world is utterly fascinating to me as I watch (and participate) in how people present themselves, how they react to each other and the general ebb and flow of interaction. Most people play themselves ... some create characters that they would like to be. Some can separate character and life. Some simply like to interact with others during the "vegging" hours in the evening ... and on and on.
When I first heard about "going online" it was 1992 or 1993 and a friend started talking about this online game called MUDdog and how people would spend hours playing the game, interacting with people from around the U.S. and sometimes from other countries ... and then they'd CALL each other on the phone. I thought this was one of the strangest things I'd ever heard. I'd known about modems and bulletin boards for years, but "realtime interaction"??
Today, of course, I understand it a lot better and when I'm exhausted, or not feeling well, or just need a break for a while, I'll log into Blogmad and chill out in the shoutbox for a while. Since I never log out and tend to pop in during odd moments, it can seem like I never leave.
Here's a segment of conversation from someone I've never seen there before, Crock_Pot, let's call him, and a few of the "regulars." I've changed the name of the intriguing man and moved a couple of comments closer to the comment they were responding to just to make things a little more clear. Other than that, I left the text alone (including all of our speedy typos).
‹Crock_Pot› Dont you lot have lives?
‹Red› yeah do you?
‹blueyes› not really
‹Crock_Pot› well i just popped in to check my stats and find the same old names here
‹Crock_Pot› live a little
‹Crock_Pot› go outside
‹ender› been there done that
‹ender› it made me sneeze
‹blueyes› i cant im working
‹Crock_Pot› it's called actual reality
‹ender› lol ... dude, i been in actual reality all day
‹Red› as have most of us
‹ender› why don't you try to not run other people's lives or make presumptions about them
‹Crock_Pot› and the rest of ya life on the interweb
‹Crock_Pot› sad loney folks
‹ender› sad lonely people who don't have anything better to do ... than log into a chat and tell people to go get a life
‹ender› hello??? pot?? yeah, this is kettle
‹Crock_Pot› no log in needed
‹Crock_Pot› loads of popular chat room out there
‹Red› wel go quick and visit one (H)
‹Crock_Pot› blog mad is your world ya numpty
‹ender› *looks under a rock ... finds Crock_Pot with the creepy crawlies*
‹Crock_Pot› cheers for biting....
‹ender› no prob ...i enjoy the "debate"
‹ender› *sigh* ... you just can't find good help these days
‹ender› woo-hoo!!!!! someone finally said something about me being in the shoutbox all the time (despite the fact that i've hardly been here today)
‹ender› wait ... does it count if he didn't mention me by name?
‹Red› yeah we can count it ender ;)
Now, what I find particularly interesting about this exchange is that I can't recall having ever met Mr. Crock_Pot before. He's not interacted with us. Yet, he apparently feels that it's his duty to inform us to go outside without knowing any of our situations. Today, I had already worked all day, spent an hour and a half with my pastor, went home and did some chores, practiced one of the choir songs, played my happy new Star Wars Lego: The Original Trilogy game, played with the dogs and was now simply waiting for the other half to get home from classes. Rather than flipping on the boob tube, and tired already of my runny nose, itchy eyes and sneezing, I decided to continue to stay inside the house and hang out at my favourite chat box.
Is the online world the only interaction I have in my life? Nope. Do I spend a fair amount of time there? Yeah. But, I'm also ADHD ... so I may spend ten minutes talking there, then walk away from the computer and play with the dogs, come back and join in the conversation, go do the dishes or mow the yard, then collapse at the computer. Then again, I may get engrossed in a book and not show up there at all.
I enjoy "back story." I enjoy figuring out why someone said something in particular or behaves a certain way or makes certain choices. That may have something to do with being a creative writer, I'm sure. The online world is something that I both love to observe how we all interact with each other (and every exchange of human interaction is research in a way for a writer), and I enjoy chatting with many folks. Getting different perspectives on events or people that I wouldn't have had if I lived only in the "real world." After all, in the real world, I probably wouldn't have met Mo from Wales; Lydia, Smash and FuzzBuckFuzz from the U.K.; Rush and FX and DocMoo and Danette from South Africa; Manic from Belgium.
My life's been enriched from all these people. So I find it interesting that someone can waltz in and without knowing any of this ... assume that people in a chat have no lives. And even more fascinating that he can then decide that he knows better than any of us what we should be doing. That we should be turning off our computers and heading outside.
Like "Laura" whom I talked about yesterday, I cannot fathom why we must do what we must do. Why some people must judge others on a spur-of-the-moment shoot-from-the-hips amount of pseudo-information. It doesn't matter to me whether it's someone who's decided that if you have more than two pets, you're a spinster or forever-bachelor; or if you're a Catholic, you're a pagan; or if you chat frequently online, you've got a scarlet L on your forehead. Judgement and self-imposed rules and realities without real reason.
It's interesting, this human condition we find ourselves in. Endlessly fascinating. Endlessly repeating patterns with back stories hidden, for the most part, in the background.
Fractal action and reaction. Complex and endless.
Posted by Red Monkey at September 27, 2006 12:19 AM |
People Say I Have ADHD, But I Think - Hey Look, A Chicken
perfectly stated! Sounds as if Mr Crockpot, may have been spurned somewhere in his life...Sigh and then those who need a bit of drama...
I agree, as I have met some of the best people...Too bad some cant let go and must make the attempts to ruin it for others...September 27, 2006 5:50 AM
He's just jealous because we have such fulfilling lives that we were taking time out to play online for his entertainment that night Thats the story I'm sticking toSeptember 27, 2006 6:53 AM
Ohh she mentioned me as being a friend. See mister Crock Pot, I have global friends, the only people you can crash with are your three little buddies from across the street.
We, the non-real-worlders, can crash with our street buddies and with our global buddies. Betcha when a comet strick your neighbourhood, you'll be having no roof over your head, I'll just go to Ender's place.September 27, 2006 7:30 AM
Interesting post. Loved the name Crock_Pot. LOL! As you point out, it's odd the differences in people and how they view things. I don't comment much in the Shoutbox, but I do look to see who is there and I'm always happy to see the familiar names of those who make me laugh while I'm passing through. Never occurred to me those folks don't have lives.September 27, 2006 7:38 AM
Well stated ender, I agree I have met and learned from so many good people on the net, I feel lucky to have had the opporturnity.September 27, 2006 8:36 AM
LMAO!!! Some of the stuff I see in the shout box when I log into Blog Mad is strange and this coming from a strange person.
hehehe... Crock Pot...
i blog under a different name and give myself a different persona in a way... its nice to prefend to be someone else.September 27, 2006 12:58 PM
Just an outsider looking in (as we all are in one way or another)...
I remember first chatting online (1996ish) when it seemed like people felt more free to be themselves--before all of the internet stalker fear and the new depths to which trolls now go. It seems to me now that years later, we're so afraid of being ourselves that unless we spend a long time talking to someone, we may never get to know them past their obligatory "stats" and what surface information they choose to divulge. I'm all for privacy and safety, but it just seems like friendships online are harder to have nowadays.
Nice thoughts :) be well.September 28, 2006 4:43 PM
Assumptions, presumptions, and judgments.....Always so interesting how easily some people do all three. And the irony of course, is that this very person was also chatting online.
On a wider scale, there will always be those who believe they have the answers for the way that everyone should be living their life instead of just living their own life.
There are many reasons people socialize online. I've met people from all around the world I would never have had any opportunity to meet, people who have enriched my life immensely, people with free time during work, free time during leisure, free time while waiting for a partner to get home from work, free time to share their gifts and talents, and I would also imagine there are people who have found shelter in the online world, people living lives we cannot possibly even imagine... people who have limitations that don't allow them much in the way of contact with others....I see no room for value judgments to be placed on anyone's life.
Great post, even greater title.