i love meeting new people on the internet. there are a jillion different places and ways to do it. different places have different unwritten rules tho. different people have different comfort levels and senses of privacy and boundaries and different people have different understandings of unwritten rules. facebook is a place where a lot of people prefer to befriend 3d friends only, though this is not true for all. i met a friend on facebook, in a comment thread, that i talk to almost everyday with and make art with over the internet. we have a band/art collective. we’ve never met in real life but we are very close. we showed some music/video art in seattle and neither of us even went to it lol. what an age we live in.
a lot of people arent looking for new friends on facebook though. this is due in some part to the fact that facebook is incredibly mainstream and that it is the only place people go where such a thing is even possible. and some people really dont like other people crossing certain boundaries. i generally advise women to be careful especially if they are pretty because there are a lot of guys out there who will bother you and perhaps cyberstalk you. i have one friend who had a dude from youtube show up at her house which is far away from things in the middle of the woods in fleafuck pennsylvania and she had to call the cops and stuff. that’s not good. and it usually doesnt get that bad but it happens.
i will often try and friend people on facebook that i know from the internet. some people are into it and some are not. i dont mind being ignored it’s part of the game. dont put yourself out there if you cant take the nanorejection of having a friendship request ignored. it always interests me though. i mean there are certain places where i have a lot of friends, like youtube, or may favorite forum, where the friendships have migrated over to facebook with no problem. i generally like the cross-platform social synergy that this creates although i must admit it makes it harder to lie to people and avoid them when i dont feel like dealing with them.
on the other hand i know some girls who feel stalked if someone they dont know sends them an email. there are two people i’ve been following at two of the sights i regularly peruse who are making a shitload of drama over what is really standard internet stuff. one of them was simply mad because a friend had given her email to someone that she didnt want to talk to. as i understand it there was bad history and the guy was creepy tho not dangerous, but it seems to me that people dont really understand how to establish their own boundaries and secure their own privacy. i for one dont care about that crap. like a few other people i know i gladly give out my phone number and real name and stuff like that. different internet subcultures have different rules regarding dropping docs and real names and how appropriate it is to try to connect on different levels. some people get really caught up in these rules and there are issues of privacy and personal boundaries involved. but i’ve always thought that a lot of these rules are essentially meaningless and some downright arbitrary. like i said i dont mind if i reach out and someone doesnt respond. i dont even mind if they say he dont bother me i’m not into it. but it seems strange to me that people often invoke unwritten internet rules that not everyone subscribes to or thinks should be in place because a social scene in which manners become too strict becomes less alive as a result.
lately my favorite place for meeting and interacting with strangers is twitter. youtube was good but i feel like it has peaked as a place to socialize. for me anyway. and besides there is an aspect to twitter that youtube doesnt have, which is, certain popcultural figures that i really dig hang out there and will occasionally retweet or talk back to you. now i dont consider myself a starfucker by any means but i still daydream about connecting with certain people and have had a lot of fun playing twitter like a game where you try and come up with something within the character limit that is worthy of response or retweet. and i dont want any more than that from these people. (tho it was call that it was through twitter that i got my gig here, just by deciding to write to jen and say hey you are into social networking well i have ideas lets pow wow etc.) and in some ways i am very wary of the culture of celebrity. and yet some i respect and enjoy tweeting at. getting a dm from roger ebert telling me i’m funny or trading fake insults with william gibson or philosophical abstractions with errol morris makes me happy. it’s not just that they’re famous it’s they they are creating culture in ways that i admire as an artist and nerd. not that they fame isnt attractive but i mean someone who is just famous but who sucks like ashton kutcher doesnt impress me.
the best part about twitter though is that within the format the tl;dr factor is eliminated from communicating. this is great. not that i mind long letters or reading a lot. i love reading. the problem i’ve had with long letters though is that i feel the need to reciprocate and it bothers me. i dont want to seem uncaring because i generally care when someone goes to the trouble of writing something substantial and sending it to me. i went through a phase where i was exchanging long letters with new friends fairly often and while there was some good stuff about it i didnt like the feeling that if i just wrote something short people would feel like i didnt care. but on twitter there is a built in safeguard. that’s cool.
another thing i like about the character limit is that it encourages conciseness of phrase and condensation of language that is downright poetic. i mean there’s also tons of completely inconsequential and shallow snippets of ratsasshair containing material i could care less about written in a way that seems deliberately designed to degrade the language that i love, but there are some people out there who are seeking to make an art form of the medium. it’s interesting to see what people do. couplets and haikus and interesting coinages. some people lament the evolution of the shorthand language of text messaging and twitter but it really interests me. words and language in general are full of redundancies that one can safely play with while retaining essential meanings and sensuous qualities such that a new micropoetic seems possible. this may just be wishful thinking on my part. we’ll see.
i guess that’s the ramble for now. writing this while rambling in real life. out on the road. havent been home since april. and yet no matter where i go i am still hanging out with my friends on the internet. i have a little city in my messenger bag! dig it. write me if you want [email protected] or skype me up my skypename is mikedelicbrownage. keep on rockin in the e world yo. peace out.