READ ME ... yeah, right. Right?

I'm sick of everyone else having on-line diaries. I want one too.

What is this all about? Maybe you should read the READ ME READ ME.

may 31, 1997:
vee cee

I have been spending a lot of my time on the well lately. For the unfamiliar, the well is a bbs-style conferencing system, with threaded conversations on everything from C++ programming to the Spice Girls' latest videos, and I hang mainly in the conferences devoted to freelance writing, media, macintosh and high-tech 'culture'-y things. When logged in on their telnet interface, picospan, users can post responses to threaded conversations, send each other private messages, and spy on what other people are doing. It's fun.

A lot of people on the well look to it as the sole basis of their social life, and look to the other members of the well as their best friends. That's somewhat like the icb crowd that I know and love, but it is also different, because the well lacks a chat interface, so you can only talk to one person at a time, and what results is a lot of people talking about each other behind each other's backs, and then posting on the conferences the edited versions of what they want the world (well, the well-world, which is pretty big) to see. It's contrived, absurd, annoying yet addictive.

But to me what is most interesting is how different people behave towards each other after they have actually met each other face to face, and not just via the digital space of a shared server. You can *tell* who knows each other in fleshspace by how they treat each other in the conferences. Meeting someone makes a difference. Virtual is not enough to create a genuine bond, it seems.

Whenever I have moved to a new city, wherever I live, my most immediate community consists of my physical neighbors. I cannot remember a time when I did not bond with my neighbors, become friends with my neighbors, become social with my neighbors. There is something immediate and obvious about sharing the same physical space with another person, about tolerating the same dangers in the neighborhood, and about experiencing the same weather in the rain. There is something very non-make-believe about asking a direct question, and receiving a direct answer. There is something very complex about human nonverbal communication.

I don't want to live on the well. I don't want not to know who is living three meters from my window because I'm spending too much time inside, logged on. Virtual isn't enough for me. I'm not a believer.

weird things that geeks do
tee-vee web
free the world

joinIN (if you dare)

thanks, COMOFLOW





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Copyright 1996, 1997 Rebecca L. Eisenberg All rights 17 Reserved.