Recently I've been thinking about the Internet and how fascinating it really is. We live in such an "information now" society. Everything we want to know and need to know is right there at our fingertips.... LITERALLY!
In addition to the "need & want to know" stuff on the web, the biggest things that I see happening is people using the web as a major source of socialization. Maybe it's entertainment?? This really fascinates me because I'm a very social person by nature. I love getting to know people. I'm inquisitive, and LOVE making new friends. I'd be a perfect person to really jump on that bandwagon. A few months ago, I would say that I was on that bandwagon.... Blogging away!
What I've struggled with is how one-dimensional the Internet feels to me. So I have to assume that to many of you out there, you feel the same. I find myself thinking about the people I interact with online as almost characters in a sitcom.... Well, sometimes a drama! I forget that these are people, with real lives that choose to share their experiences, thoughts and ideas on the web. They're "putting it out there". Make no mistake; I love the friends that I've made on the web.
Think about it. Your "cyber neighborhood" is made up of things that are of interest to you and the places you visit on the web. You can socialize with all sorts of sometime nameless, oftentimes faceless, people around the world. It started with chatrooms and now with the advent of web2.0 you can interact with almost anyone!
What is so interesting to me at this point is the lack of courtesy we pay people on the web. We think that if no one is looking, we can get away with all sorts of stuff. It's true!
To me, it seems that many of our social graces go right out the window when we are online. People say mean things to one another. In the end, they end up hurting each other. That makes me sad.
I'm guilty of another type of poor Internet etiquette. I read people's blogs and never remark. To me that's almost as bad as not responding when someone say's "hello"! I hate it when I look at my personal blog http://www.destination48009.com/ and see that no one has looked at it or taken the time to say "hello".
I forget to stop by my friend's blogs and let them know that I'm thinking of them... again, it's as if I forgot to pick up the phone for a long time! I know better and I would NEVER act this way in the "real world". I care too much about people to behave like that. So to those of you I have neglected, again, I'm sorry. I may never be a great blogger, but I can be a great friend!
The rules of engagement are changing. The way we socialize is changing. It's exhausting... but if you want to participate in this new form of communication, you have to learn the rules and play by them. AND at the end of the day REALIZE that there are real live people out there looking for interaction. The responsibility falls on each of us to behave ourselves and act appropriately.Hey! Maybe someday, I can become the Emily Post of the Internet.