Monday, August 13, 2007

IRL

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 in real life. 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. :D
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, huh.
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.

..almost.

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21 Comments:

At 11:30 am, August 13, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I get the same grief and misdirected concern from my so-called friends.
It was only this weekend just now that I got "you should go outside". "Go shopping or something."
What they are really saying is that I should perform the token gesture of physically doing that so I can tick some imaginary box that accommodates their version of living.

Why would I want to stuff around getting ready, drive into the city, get frazzled for 45m trying to find a park, pay through the nose for it, walk all over town, get jostled and sneezed on, fight my way into a store, only to find that what I wanted wasn't on the shelf. And then take another hour to get back home..
..when I could look on the webstore for anything that interests me and have it ordered, paid for and on its way within a few minutes?

95% of the time spent doing it in the physical world is a complete waste of time. Its an exercise in frustration too.

No my friends don't get it either.

Also it is the same where I work. We have some of the brightest and most enthusiastic people here, but because of this one manager everything is turning to shit. He is one of those old school people you mention and he is not only holding back the company but he is single handed causing its demise.
I have often thought the same thing that it is amazing that one person can totally fuck up a great company. This guy spends all his time trying to reverse the way younger people think. He forces us to meet all the time and we end up spending less and less time actually doing our work.
Everyone is leaving because they have a choice not to stay and deal with this idiot. You see it especially in the younger staff who came here under different pretenses but after dealing with this one idiot they are on their bike.
All it would take would be to have someone in charge that understands how people prefer to work these days and what is considered to be value to them and we wouldn't be going through what we are at the moment. ONE idiot and it is all fucked.

You are so right though. People have a choice nowdays and they exercise it. It only takes a few weeks of working here before people say 'seeya later' because they don't have to put up with that sort of shit and there are plenty of other options for them.

This article really hit the spot for me. Couldn't agree more.

 
At 11:56 am, August 13, 2007, Anonymous nuke_the_trees said...

Looks like they've got one of those types working at AT&T somewhere up the ladder too. Here.

LOL

 
At 1:34 pm, August 14, 2007, Anonymous sunrise_yuna said...

omg i so relate to this.
my friends call me lazy.

i'm not lazy, or fat.

i just get a way greater return on my investment with the time i spend online. more miles to the gallon than in real life. it's not like i want to be a hermit or anything, it's just i prefer to choose the irl things that are of great interest to me. most of what i get asked to do is plainly boring as all hell.

 
At 2:04 pm, August 14, 2007, Anonymous Pez said...

What they do is confuse 'lazy' with 'life on demand' (and your return on investment, sunrise_yuna).

You also find that a large number of people who must go for a walk around the block do so out of some kind of guilt complex. Working off a large dinner, feeling apathetic, etc. Generally speaking the majority choose exercise as a punishment or solution to guilt. Very few actually do it for pleasure alone.
So when they say "you need to get outside", they are projecting their form of release onto you, and taking no time to consider what it is that satisfies you; what it is that you enjoy doing and what it is that you find relaxing or therapeutic.
They simply cannot relate to the fact you are happiest doing what it is that makes you happy, because it doesn't make sense to them. Mainly because they have chosen not to bother finding out anything about what you actually do, I might add.

Zarres makes a similar statement in his 'Santa Christ' article: that half the time, these things are merely social triggers that people follow, without even knowing why exactly.
'Getting outside' is one of those. What exact benefit do I gain from fighting my way through a supermarket versus ordering online, again?
Precisely how am I somehow 'missing out' by conversing with someone online vs IRL?

You will find that the answers you receive from these questions are socio-genetic responses from most people, and are not exactly based in any reason..

The world grows up.

 
At 11:47 pm, August 14, 2007, Anonymous waery traveller said...

Well I just got back from a holiday overseas. It's a bit hard to do that online and reap the same benefits.

 
At 11:50 pm, August 14, 2007, Anonymous weary_browser said...

..this, from someone who can't even spell their name correctly.

Yes it's true! Those who like doing things online NEVER GO ON HOLIDAYS!

EVER!!! :-o

 
At 12:43 am, August 15, 2007, Anonymous wherey_cynic said...

omfg

Struggling to find the words for a reply to that one....

What was that Pez said in another article here about voluntary euthanasia...?

Facebook
Flickr
Yahoo
Picasa

Do those words mean anything to you, wAery traveller? Does the fact they are filled with TRAVEL PHOTOS not give any clues?

You could also do with taking a look at this when you have a moment to spare from being so active outdoors.

 
At 12:46 am, August 15, 2007, Anonymous where-ey blogger said...

..and thus Zarres' point about detractors not understanding in the slightest, is proven.

Thank you waery traveller.
:D

 
At 12:59 am, August 15, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

haha yeh put your foot in it there.
having the world at your fingertips is something we should all be grateful for. and its something that enables and empowers those that choose to utilize it to it's fullest.
it's not the same as visiting a country but the two are not mutually exclusive like some that pigeonhole would like to believe.
what do you do when you're not traveling, weary traveler? does all your learning about other cultures and people just stop? or do you get that at the local mall?

 
At 1:01 am, August 15, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

*giggle
The online community is also the most vicious.. o_0

 
At 1:37 am, August 15, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not vicious just honest.
And informed.

 
At 1:46 am, August 15, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

How timely:

Sony Online Entertainment business development chief David Christensen believes we're all a little bit naïve when it comes to other cultures than our own.

He was speaking following the unveiling of the publisher's new MMO, which takes inspiration from a holy Hindu poem, and aims to promote awareness of the religion to Western audiences.

"Unfortunately I think most people - not just those in the gaming industry - are a bit naïve when it comes to any culture but their own, which is precisely why SOE believes it is of the utmost importance to partner with local talent in every foreign market we enter," David Christensen told Eurogamer. "To be successful in a territory you have to think like the consumers there."


The full story here.

 
At 1:49 am, August 15, 2007, Anonymous razzor said...

Zarres said it first!!!
pwned! :D

 
At 1:52 am, August 15, 2007, Anonymous sew_knee said...

lol very true. nice goin z.

 
At 1:55 am, August 15, 2007, Anonymous Pez said...

Nice. You have gained +1 Zarres
:)

 
At 1:58 am, August 15, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

LOL culture.. mmos... naive.. hey you got some inside infos crystal ball we dont know about Zarres?? :]]

 
At 2:00 am, August 15, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

He works for...

SONY!!!!!

Thats why he didn't comment on that blog about his work!!

MUHAHAHAAH its all out now!!!!

 
At 2:01 am, August 15, 2007, Anonymous roflcopter said...

ROFL

 
At 2:03 am, August 15, 2007, Anonymous greywing7 said...

LOL yeah right.
Hey good call Z. Bang on the money.

 
At 2:05 am, August 15, 2007, Anonymous belamy said...

Nice :)

 
At 2:12 am, August 17, 2007, Anonymous jonathon said...

This is an interesting topic.I admit I haven't looked at it from that angle I guess but like all things I think there is a balance that should be observed. If you locked yourself in a room in front of your computer for 24 hours a day then that is probably not going to do you any good. I don't think Zarres is promoting such an extreme line of thinking at all, but it's a reality for some people. I don't blame the technology for that though. That is an issue the person needs to work on. If it wasn't their computer it would be something else. I think what Zarres is saying that when it comes to the time allocated for talking to others he gets more out of doing it online than from standing in a crowded pub but you would also see him in pubs.
Also good going preempting the word from Sony.

 

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