I have a few friends online.
Some are Facebook persons, some friends reunited, some I email, some have blogs.
One thing they all have in common is that I knew them in reality long before I knew them in cyberspace.
Of course there is the normal entries of people who have looked me up after many, many years (and vice versa). People who I work with. People I HAVE worked with. People I know through my better half.
But I have never gone out there and really looked for complete strangers in virtual worlds. I don’t know if it scares me or if it is simply that I need to trust people before I let them in.
I play World of Warcraft, for instance. I have collaborated on a few quests and thus have a couple of “buddies” but I am so rarely on the game that they don’t look for me. For my part I don’t look for them at all. Ever. I just get on with the solo quests or if I am many levels above what is required I might attempt a dungeon by myself. Rarely goes well that one.
Does that make me a sociophobe?
Friends Reunited is another one. I put up my profile (many years ago) but never ever go there now. It seems pointless and a little degrading. No idea why. It doesn’t help that the “activity on Friends Reunited” emails seem to include people I have never known.
Some sort of strange random dating computer?
What of Twitter? I have only just started with that. Of course it’s given me an insight into the intellect of a giant like Stephen Fry but I don’t follow “random” people or look up events or search out “buddies”. I simply use it as a shortcut to my Facebook entry.
That brings me to my main virtual presence. Facebook isn’t just a “here I am” or “I am now” application. It is easy to see how people just get lost in the maze of options, notifications, updates, statuses, applications, games, lists, quizzes, and photos.
I have been involved in all of these in my short Facebook existance. I like to play strategy or rollplay games so I am in my element with some of them. Photos take a bit of thinking about. For example, my better half has decided that she would rather not appear on any of my online photo albums. This obviously restricts the,”holiday” albums. As for statuses, I do enough of those to annoy some buddies who would rather only see major events but I am a whole factor or seven less than some others I follow.
Of course some of the Apps on Facebook cause this extra traffic directly. The site is after all a social site and we are there to communicate in some way. Thus the games get us to get our friends involved. We ask them to fertilise our crops, eat our cakes, visit our park, join our alliance.
The game therefore can increase it’s exposure (and therefore it’s advetising revenue) a sort of symbiotic virus. Some can shrug the virus off and the trail ends. Others enjoy the opportunities offered, relish them, and on goes the chain.
I have no problem with either. But what is the fundemental difference? It isn’t gender related, I can see that. It isn’t age related, except that more younger people are there in the first place.
Anyway, perhaps I am a bit of a troll. Put me in a cupboard and allow me to play WoW or Baldur’s Gate or Duke Nuke’m 3D. I’d be happy.
– Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone