Monday, January 21, 2008

It's a whole new world...(thoughts on this electronic life)

(if you get this via your RSS, the one change was to add a label, "this electronic life")

Blogger's note:
If parentheses drive you mad, avoid this post.

So, the Internet. It's like, how many years old now? (I'm expecting a text message from Al Gore with the exact figure any minute now.) Or, I could look it up on Google, Wikipedia, or Blackle. Ah, here it is, Ye Olde Wayback Machine (aka the Internet Archive).

I joined Facebook this fall and it was like whoosh! (I didn't understand when they asked "Do you want us to send an invitation to everyone in your Yahoo address book" because they didn't ask it that clearly, so I had instant online community.) Everyone, apparently, was on Facebook. (I had 60 friends in the first couple of days.) Not just Heidi, my (at the time) boyfriend, and my sister, who had all encouraged me to join. Soon I was playing Scrabulous (FB's version of Scrabble, I love it), answering quizzes on the Princess Bride and Disney Villians, super-poking people, being super-poked, (actually, I was super-poked before I did any super-poking, and most of it is between me and my sister) and receiving neat "virtual" gifts. My favorite virtual gift to give and get is the "water globe." I've played and have stopped playing (sorry Sandy!) the Oregon Trail game, the Compare your friends game (sorry Carlos!), and have changed my profile's setup numerous times. Oh, and I love "collecting" art. I have my own "virtual" gallery, with Van Gogh, Hopper, Cassat...why don't I have any Monet? I must get some Monet!

It was a pretty easy decision to be myself, not Sarah Louise, on Facebook, since the point of Facebook is to get in touch with everyone you ever knew, and I've only been SL for 3 years and I've been keeping a fairly low profile...although I do think it would be fun to make a profile for myself as SL...but that's a whole other post. (I have this theory about having too many online personas. It makes me think of hoarcruxes.*) But a little quick math:

  • I participate in two of my own blogs as Sarah Louise
  • I co-participate in another blog (with a different online persona--but I'm thinking to "come out" as me on that one as it is a local blog, and you know, it's easier to get to know your neighbors if they know who you are.)
  • I have blogged as myself for a professional conference
  • On Library Thing, I am Sarah Louise. On Shelfari and Facebook, I am myself, well, I mean I use my real name.

Back to Facebook for a minute: it is bizarre to every once and a while get a "notification" that so-and-so is my friend. When did I invite them? Oh, they must have been in my email and just now got around to deciding that they wanted my cute picture on their profile. I have reunited myself with friends from high school (well, one--and rejected a guy who I never really knew in HS--it was just um, weird.). I have reunited myself with the first Sally (if you haven't figured it out by now, Sally is code name for my actual given name, and I have had best friends named *wink, nudge, nudge* "Sally" four times in my life. I also work with two women named Sally directly and indirectly with one more in the same building.) But how did I get off on that tangent?

Last week, I decided that enough was enough, I wanted to learn how to use It's another one of your online social networks. Um, it's soooo easy. As a way to save links. The social part of it, not so much. You have a network. And fans. Well, that sounded fun... So I didn't have a network, AND I WANTED ONE, since del doesn't have a "here are all your friends with del, hit yes to send them an invite to be your friend" function. So I found someone, I can't remember how, and put her in my network. She seemed to have similar interests, was clearly also a librarian. Wow, the next day, she was a "fan" and had put me in her network. But something happened! because when I logged in today, we were no longer reciprocally (is that a word?) in each other's networks, and she wasn't my "fan" anymore. The rejection!! And I have never even met this person. Luckily, Katy came by and we're in each other's networks, are each other's fans. But the sting was almost as bad as when I got cut from a fellow blogger's blogroll, inexplicably. (And I don't know how to bring it up in conversation. Um, I noticed I'm no longer on your blogroll but we're still friends. Care to elaborate?) (I've since decided it's not that big of an issue, but it did have me wrinkling my brow for awhile.)

THEN, last week, I found out that Marian (the Librarian) has a blog! What??!! "Well, I only write about library stuff, nothing personal." So, you thought I wouldn't be interested because I'm a librarian too? (Yes, I got over being twisted in my knickers about that one real quick too.) (If you thought online social rules were bizarre, try being friends with people face to face who keep anonymous blogs...) (It takes one to know one.)

The online social rules are not as clear cut as the off-line ones. It's not, hey, how are you, let's get to know each other, let's do lunch, let's call each other, n'stuff. It's I link to you and maybe you link to me and then all my friends may or may not follow and before you (or I) know it, you're getting comments from people you never heard of or never wanted to hear from again. (My blog went black, I actually took it down, for three days when an ex found it and commented. Hello, anonymous blog, don't you think you could email me instead?) (See what I mean about weird rules?) (Because I think I would have been just as weirded out by an email.) (I got rid of him through great advice from a friend. I later used this great advice to peacefully but in clear and no uncertain terms terminate the friendship with THAT friend when my friends and family were concerned that I was spending too much time text-messaging with a married man.) (Whom I had met, innocently, online, through comments on my blog.)

Recently, I've noticed I can't log into my blog at work. I can comment, but that's it. And I don't really want to ask the question, um, I can't get into my blog?? because I don't generally blog about work related things and then oh, icky.

See what I mean? So I think I'll "unfriend" the person I found on del, because it's just, well, strange, and I have no way of knowing if I did something and anyways she seems too into antiques...

I think I'll go check my laundry. And watch more M*A*S*H.

By the way, I thought Northanger Abbey was quite nice. Masterpiece Classics (when did they stop being Masterpiece Theatre?) has redeemed themselves nicely, I'll keep watching.

*a hoarcrux is a division of your soul--it's a Harry Potter thing. Unfortunately, there is not quick and dirty link to a wikipedia page on "a hoarcrux is x."


daysgoby said...

I don't have a lot of personas, per se, but I will confess the passwords to things are driving me INSANE. I had to set up a desktop to keep track of the passwords I use. (Security, thy name is not Jess!)

That said, I had two people tell me they read the not-Blogger-version-of-DGB within two days - (the one where I use my maiden name, as it's for a local e-paper) how odd, to think they know who I am and interact with me in real life?

How was your weekend?

daysgoby said...

desktop FILE. I MUST go to bed.

Katrina said...

I only caught the last half of Northanger Abbey (we had company and they didn't leave until eleven), but I quite liked what I did see. It's the one Jane Austen novel I have yet to read, so I'll have to put it on my library list!

There are a whole lot of unspoken and unwritten social rules on the internet, as well as the everpresent danger of having your anonymous blog found by real life people. That's partly why I opted for full disclosure on my blog--everyone in my life knows I have it, and even though that prevents me from writing everything that pops into my head, it hasn't been as limiting as I feared. I think it all comes down to what you want to do with your blog, and how important it is to you to be able to vent your personal stuff without fear of discovery.

I haven't had the courage to start trying to figure out yet; I'm still figuring out Facebook and Pandora radio. But it sounds neat!

Sis said...

This was very informative. I have never thought about a lot of it..I am glad you did...saves me a lot of confusion..ha.
Glad you liked Northanger Abbey-I missed most of it! =( I was up in I'll just have to go to my local library and get it when it comes out! =)