Is it just me, or are people IRL just a total drag?
Over the past year or so I've been doing more and (increasingly) more socialising with folk online, rather than i
ife. And from my perspective anyhow, it's just a whole fuckload easier.
It's not that you don't get your share of morons and assholes online just as you would in the physical world, but the people I connect with via some form of electronic medium seem to share a bond with me that's at a much deeper level than any single soul I know around me.
Is it because by default we share similar interests, being online in the first place and all?
Is it because if they turn out to be a cunt, I can simply click a button and effectively ignore/remove them from my life forever with zero consequences?
And do I really 'know' them at all? After all, the personality behind the keyboard at the other end may well be the total opposite of the avatar they portray to me.
I'm not sure, to be honest.
But I can
tell you, that I have longer, deeper and more fruitful and enjoyable conversations with my online friends, than I do at any stage in the physical world that exists outside my front door.
It's kind of ironic in a way, because most of my 'actual' acquaintances here where I live and work find it 'odd' that I spend so much time online, not that they'd ever have the spine to say as much to my face. (If you've read any of my past blogs you'll see some fairly clear messages about that particular subject..)
And in so doing they repel themselves out of my sphere of desire even further.
If I start to make some comparisons, I look to the most recent few days and look back at the multiple and lengthy conversations I've had with my online friends, covering what must be close to a hundred different subjects, each thoroughly fascinating and fun. God knows how much I learned these past few days and I know for sure that a couple of those convo's went on for over 7 hours..
..but if I look to the 'real' world, I start to glaze over after about 7 minutes
Maybe this has to do with what I mentioned earlier - the similarities of interests. It seems that any actual (verbal) conversation I have labours upon the most mundane of topics:
Sport, weather, work, drinking.. ok I'm struggling now.
Yet with my non-physical friends, I find myself hurriedly Googling items, theories, texts, euphemisms, quotes, websites and forums about things I have never heard of before.
It feels like the more I socialise with my online mates, the more my perspective is expanded, the more my paradigms are shifted, and the more I learn.
I was speaking to a work colleague a couple of weeks ago, and we were talking about 'remote workers'. As in, staff who work from home.
The discussion was about the traditional 'corporate' paradigms that up until very recently have been incongruous to such a way of working. You know, that old-school and frumpy mentality that unless you actually turn up at a workplace, you can't possibly be doing any work. lol
Of course these days, the technology exists whereby an employer can monitor every detail of an employee's productivity whether they are on-site at an office location or at home. So in effect any debate about such issues are fundamentally moot.
What stands in the way, of course, are people within any organisation who fail to relate to the concept in any way. Especially if those individuals are in positions of senior management.
I'm sure you know the type - those irritating gnats who forever go on about "the value of face to face contact". (Aarggh even typing that phrase gives me the absolute SHITS!)
Why do you think they say that? Because they have absolutely zero grasp of the alternative concept. THEY are incapable of being able to work effectively without a physical presence, and so they project that shortfall onto everybody else. It's funny, if nothing else. Ignorant and unintelligent yes, but comedic nonetheless.
Additionally, I tend to believe that they reject the concept not only because they are unfamiliar with it themselves, but also because they are accustomed to exerting 'power' or 'authority' in a physical sense. And by that I do not mean they are waving around wooden clubs, but more that they rely upon a physical presence to maintain control, both emotionally and in terms of corporate/social ladder systems.
In other words, without a physical presence, they are stripped of some of their 'skill', and they feel threatened. Just as they are threatened by the unknown quantities of anything 'virtual'. They also feel that they are losing some form of control no doubt. (jeezus - grow the fuck up)
The thing is, they are going to get left behind, and more importantly (in the context of a workplace) they are going to hold back an organisation. The ransom for this closed-minded approach to the way we live our lives today ends up being paid in attrition. (Let's not go there shall we haha)
The thing is, that today's working and social youth are (horrible catch-phrase alert!) Generation Y
Whilst it's not a defined term yet (nobody can agree on the exact birth dates for this group)
colloquially it refers to those born in the 80's or early 90's. Now these particular individuals are about as opposite as you can get from the prior generation:
They really don't give a fuck.. about much at all, besides themselves. (three cheers for the Y's!)
It's all about them. And it's all about now.
No patience, no traditional 'respect', just me. Me, and I want it now
What's more, if I can't have it now, I'll fucking well go somewhere else immediately, where I can
get it now. You lose.
Previous gen's will look upon these 'kids' and uncontrollably belch about the demise of modern civilisation BUT the thing is, it's real.
In a world where pretty much anything is at one's fingertips. I hardly blame them for being so demanding and self-centered.
Consequences seem to be a thing of the past - once upon a time items such as religion, or adults, or social norms would prevent somebody from saying something particularly nasty or selfish. These days, such 'overbears' mean precisely zip.
How many times have you heard someone say "and what are you gonna do about it, then?"
. Exactly. The only consequences that exists seem to be legal ones, and even those are regularly flaunted to maximum extent.
It's not 'bad', it's just 'different'. It's like fashion. Hell, it is
fashion. What it is now is not what it will be in the future; 'it' being pretty much anything (outside of water, air, and.. well thats probably about all really).
And so I come back to my original observation: my socialising choice. To you, I may seem 'weird'. Well guess what - I really don't give one single flying fuck
All I know is that I continue to have more fun, expand my mind to greater extremes, and have time-flying conversations (whether that be via keyboard or voice chat)
with the friends I have never physically met, than with anyone I've ever shared airspace with.
Most of those friends reside in countries outside of Australia, which adds to the fascinating discoveries I experience regularly, especially in terms of what is 'usual' for one person but totally foreign to somebody living elsewhere. This weekend alone saw me typing such things as "you have fish for breakfast??"
and "..what, the whole town gets drunk all week?"
amongst "oh I didn't know about that album of theirs"
and "I agree, thats some of the best contemporary art I've seen this year"
and "they show that on prime-time TV?".
Hearing about what it's like to work in Denmark looking after 9000 wind turbines, or that there's a corner shop in a little town in the Netherlands that sells the same magazines they have here in Australia. That in Carolina the beach stinks like rotten fish at the moment, and that I travel for longer getting to work than the average person in New Jersey does.
Much. More. Interesting.
But hey - feel free to berate me for shunning 'real' people. I mean yeh, those folk I speak with online aren't real
Nooo, they're just.. interwebs. Or something.
You just continue to be false in front of your peers and friends, not telling them a scrap of truth for fear of rejection or scorn. How does it feel, lying? When was the last time you really said what you wanted to? pfft
And indeed let me continue to be 'mean and nasty', that horrible thing called 'frankness' where one says what they believe without fear of reproach, where one can effectively hide behind a keyboard, having had social filters removed so that communication can continue unfiltered by traditional restraints.
It must scare you half to death huh.
No wonder you don't get it.
I almost feel sorry for you.
Labels: Lifestyle, Online, Virtual