By midnight, I would have been off the net for exactly fourteen days, and I can’t wait to be back. I figured out just what it gives me, and what it takes away. One of the things I got rid of was the “tweet compulsion”, the feeling that you absolutely must tweet a thing that happened or a thought you had. I wonder how long it’ll take until I’m hooked again.
But wait, we still have one last question…
This one is a little more vague, it’s more of a “what does this all mean?” kind of question. Even if tweeps are “real and friends”, it still doesn’t answer the most important question, what we are trying to achieve with social media.
Among my five closest friends, two are online acquaintances. Should I be worried? What if four out of five were online? Does it become weird then?
I’ve been on twitter for fifteen months, blogging for five. What would it be like in five years for instance? How will it be when web 3.0 and augmented reality get into the picture? Will our weddings be major regional tweetups? Think about it.
Question Number 3:
Let’s assume the answers to the first two cybersophical questions are “yes”. Let’s say all your online buddies are real and are amazing friends, both answers don’t matter if you don’t believe in it. A “real” person online can be your “real” friend, but it won’t mean anything if you personally think it’s fake/incomplete, right?
A friend went to a new city where she had known several people online for close to eight years. When she arrived they did a meeting for her and called it a night. She needed help finding a good place to stay, and to know how to get around the city, but none of her “good friends” were there for her. I have feeling a lot of confusion and heartbreak are coming our way if we aren’t entirely honest about what we think of each other, our personal opinions.
So in that way, the last question isn’t one you should ask yourself, it’s one you should ask your online friends, “Do you believe in our friendship?” Figure out how you feel about this, it will save you a lot of confusion further down the road.
As for me, I’m lucky enough to know this diverse rainbow of smart, interesting, fun people who care about me a great deal, online and offline. I plan to cultivate my friendships on both planes, and give them the attention they deserve. I’m not going to merge both worlds into a multitasking frenzy anymore.
See you in 20 hours