Thursday, December 23, 2004

Writing Compulsively

The time I spend on the internet is starting to cause a problem. It's not enough that I spend at least an hour cruising blogs everyday, that I stay up chatting all hours, that Wikipedia has become my source of all knowledge both arcane and mundane. No, now the writing bug has bitten me once again, and I'm wasting a few hours a day writing, thinking about writing and editing my writing. There are only so many hours in a day.
I now have two blogs. This one for my thoughts on the internet, and Turning Eros for the erotic fiction I've been writing. Next thing I know I'll have a political blog, a poetry blog and a knitting blog. (No, I don't knit, but it seems a popular hobby to blog about, so I'll likely pick that up in my spare nanoseconds.)
It must be all the chatting that started it. Compulsively twitching fingers on the keyboard. If this keeps escalating I'll be a Stephen King wannabe writing a novel a week, quality be damned. Albeit, a kinkier female version of Stephen King.

Sunday, December 19, 2004

Men are the same online

IMed S. today. It was great. Apparently my "breakdown" proves that I am "disturbed." This I don't get. Ask for a few days of space and suddenly I'm an untouchable.
To my mind, if I had booked tickets to visit him (I hadn't even asked what city he lives in,) told him that I loved him (which I don't) or any number of other scary things that come to my mind, that would be disturbing. Seemingly I am wrong, and needing a bit of breathing room is the most insane thing I could do.
I should have known better. I once told a boyfriend (real life) that I needed some space to myself, needed to spend more time with myself and friends. He dumped me. Guys make no sense. If you ask what they want in a girlfriend, right after boob size comes the whole "I want a woman who let's me have my own life" thing. Bah! What they want is the appearance of freedom for themselves, and none for the female involved. God forbid she shouldn't be absolutely devoted at all times, without doubts.
Well, screw 'em all. I switching back to girls. I might make it permanent. Or go asexual. That seems to be getting more popular.
Annoyed chick out.

Friday, December 17, 2004

Cyber Peeves

What's up with the total disregard for accepted grammar, punctuation and spelling on the internet? Admittedly, I'm literarily minded; I write for personal pleasure; I read the classics etc. etc. But why do so few people agree with me on using regular correspondence conventions while chatting and IMing? It's not that it slows down typing by that much. And punctuation and capitals are used to make reading the written word easier. (The same goes for serifs, the little do-hickies on the terminus points of letters. Sans-serif fonts are gaining popularity, more as a back lash against the ubiquitous Times than anything else. But I digress.)

I don't mind the abbreviations like "lol" or "brb"; occasionally I use them myself. They seem to be the online equivalent of a shrug, nods, winks. Emoticons, well, I don't use them at all; they appear pretentious in my own writing, but generally they don't annoy me when used judiciously by others. If every entry ends with some cutesy little happy face...your time with me is limited.

I'll admit some of my feelings about the ultra-casual writing style on the net is turning into prejudice. I'm beginning to assume that anyone who spells "you" as "u" does so because they are either too stupid or to lazy to do it the right way. And by extension, anyone who does it "correctly" is more intelligent. I'll have to work on that. The vast majority of people chatting are far more laid back about it than I am.

but u wont be catching me doing it any time soon lmao

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Finding S.

It started in a chat room. (Duh) Literature in fact. My minimal experience has lead me to the conclusion that topic specific rooms, as opposed to region or peer group, are more interesting in general, because they have, well, a topic. In this case books. Which I usually read. Anyways, Science Fiction, with it's various sub-genre's and authors, is being discussed; S. and I have proven the most knowledgeable and are throwing factoids back and forth with great fervor. (S. was a guy of course, everyone knows girls don't read SF. Okay, I do, but I'm rather rare.) Eventually we go private and our conversation lasts through the night, ending in a rather steamy manner.
A few facts about me should be known at this point.
  • Up to this point I had never had a conversation online that lasted more than an hour.
  • I had never cybered, or had serious phone sex.
  • Usually, I am rather reserved and can be described as "hard to get to know."
  • My rule was to NEVER give personal info, including my phone number, to anyone on the internet that I didn't already know from "real life."
Within a few days (if that!) I'm chatting at all hours on the phone and IMing with a guy I don't really know, having cyber and phone sex, and telling him all sorts of secrets. Not little secrets like "I stole a candy bar from my sister when I was 5," but the really, really big ones that you don't tell anyone.
What in the Almighty's Name is going on!?! This is not me. Or at least not the me I've lived with for the past 29 years. And to top it all off, I have a serious crush.
So after about two weeks (and telling him about a very socially-not-acceptable incident from my past), I totally panicked. Told him I wasn't comfortable talking any more due to my infatuated/bizarro state. And that's where it stands.
How did this happen? Why did I act so contrary to my nature? Does this happen to everyone online, or is it just me?
The research begins, and the last question is the easiest to answer. It's not just me, of course. Everyone hears stories (the online dating services make sure you hear the happy-ending ones) and I even know someone that has experienced this. My jury's still out on the love issue. At this point I don't have enough data to determine if it's possible to love someone that you have never even met. But I'm not alone in finding myself in an unexpected whirlwind of midnight confidences and heavy breathing that seems to be moving at half the speed of light. If the rest of life was like this, we'd all be getting PhD's in a term or two, and dead by 17. It may even be a fairly common phenomenon.
The "why" of it is harder. I've read some research papers (see links if you can ignore the dry presentation and all those pesky numbers) and done some thinking. I have two theories on the sudden intimacy aspect.
  1. The first is that the unbelievable level of intimacy develops due to the anonymity aspect. "Strangers on the train syndrome". Because there is little risk of being outed or even harshly judged by our online interest, there is no reason to not tell them anything and everything. This is definitely the most obvious and easy answer, but it doesn't feel like enough explanation. I've been in similar situations (ie. going to a strange bar alone, traveling in unknown cities and meeting people I'll never see again) and I've never crossed that personal boundary before.
  2. My second theory is that the intimacy is necessary to form any real bond with a phantom person. In real life, two people go out to the movies, have dinner, blah, blah. They have a chance to build a shared history of experience that they can draw on for intimacy, both at the time and at a later date in the form of memories. This is not the case for phone/cyber buddies. Without mutual experiences, there is little to draw on other than general interests and personal history and issues. You end up diving right into serious stuff, or you never get in at all.
  3. (I know, I said two, but I just thought of something.) There are no distractions. When was the last time you had a multi-hour, uninterrupted conversation with someone you've don't already know quite well in real life? Online and on the phone, if you so chose, there are no other friends, no traffic accidents, no annoying waiters with over-priced, over-cooked entrees to distract from the person you are with. You have the normally rare opportunity to devote your entire attention to one individual, which would encourage a fast growing bond.
Those are my thoughts on the whole online-intimacy-secret-sharing-thing and my experience to date. Let me know via "comments" if you have any thoughts. Also feel free to link this to your blog or website if you like and I'll return the favor; just let me know about it. Good night all!

Salutations and all that crap

Hello, hello.
This is my first blog, so bear with my faux-pas, pointless ramblings, and general lostness.
I first heard about blogs about 2 weeks ago. Generally I don't care for publishing/aggrandizing my written words, but for some reason I am drawn to this media. Most likely it is just a part of this "integrated internetting" thing I'm going through. In the last month I have started using the internet for my work for the first time, met my first online friend, had my first cyber-sex (fairly nice, thank you for asking) and generally started using the net in a more regular manner.
I could be using this soapbox to opine about the state of world affairs, or philosophical treatises, but sex and relationships are so much more titillating. I am also very bemused and bewildered by the extraordinarily rapid development of the budding online relationships I have formed, and would love to hear comments from both neophites like myself and more experienced internet sluts.
My goal is to update this thing weekly. We'll see. Many of my entries are likely to seem completely irrelevant to online dating etc. but really, they will all be based on my ongoing experiences, however tangential. (Is that even a word?) I may even explain why they make sense. Or not.
Anyways, happy blogging, cybering and screwing to all.