The phenomenon of creating your own community on the innanets is nothing new at all. I can recall “lab-assing” in ’98 in college with my friends in the computer lab. We would meet several times a day and troll before trolling was trolling. Early sites like Yahoo! Chat and AOL gave you the chance to kick down the eDoor and drop an a/s/l in a room of your choice – and then the party began. It was the war of the wits. Whoever said the most provocative things or cracked the funniest jokes got the most attention. ..and maybe, just maybe… the next time you came into the room someone would recognize your tag and reach out to you.
Then, in the early 90s, the lovely BlackPlanet, AsianAvenue, and MigenteDotCom hit the streets. I love all people, so obviously I was a member of all of the sites. Smaller communities rested on the backs of Paxed (and 2.0), CS, and finally blake.cc. And then, along came Zuckerberg’s creation. Interestingly enough, I’m still eFriends with some people that I “met” in those days. Mark and Tom and them had the ticket — the wildfire of innanet communities spread. People had begun to create a new set of social norms at an alarming rate: social norms that gave you the chance to interact with people whilst relaxing in the comfort of your draws – not having to deal with their annoying, awkward, and very ACTUAL presence. You could respond later, share what you wanted, and be unapologetically who you wanted them to think you were. Somehow, I’ve always been written off as a jerk… dah well.
But what about the friends-list comprised of people that actually come to your house? The friends-list you have to build, be patient with, tolerate, endure, and look at in real life? What about when that weird thing happens with your phone – it rings – and someone wants to talk but you don’t so you decline the call and text them “what do you want?…im busy” as you pick your nose and fast forward through the opening credits of House of Cards awaiting your pizza rolls to finish in the microwave (aka voodoo oven). Has the Webverse made us more anti-social? Because, NO LIE (and I say this with the utmost sincerity): My time at your function is solely based on the battery life of my phone. If I like you, I just might bring my charger inside and ask you for an outlet as sooooon as I walk into your dungeon without shaking your hand until my phone is secure and getting life.
Friends-List (Actual) is needed more than you think. I encourage you to be intentional about relationships. Actually, call people on their birthdays (SN: stop spamming me with your insensitive and generic holiday group text wishes…. I’m going to start deleting contacts over this seemingly petty issue) and see how they’re doing. Take the time to listen to people while they talk without glancing at your phone every 30 seconds, and you’ll find that these creatures known as Actual Humans are an interesting specimen. If nothing else, you can just stare at them like they’re stupid if what they’re saying isn’t worth a hill of pintos. They usually shut up shortly thereafter.
Bottom line: There’s a world out there. See it, meet people, talk to them. If, after trying, you find that you don’t like it – then restart your BlackPlanet account.
Add me: ills_finest3