interwebs etiquettes

Posted on 21.10.2009


I’ll start with a story.

There was this one time, after college, when I was really into This Guy (TG). I think I was on a break with my BF at the time or something. Either way, me and TG had a history and it ended a few years earlier. I don’t know what made me think that we could have something again, but I thought that. And I guess at the time we were running into each other a lot at the places we both frequented.
So I got really excited about this and started calling him. A lot. I think maybe he said ‘we should hang out’ and I took that to mean far more than it probably did. And I was thinking about him all of the time, wondering what he was doing, hearing songs that made me think of him (because when you are thinking about someone, ALL songs make you think of them), etc. It was bad.
I’ve gotten to know myself pretty well since then, and this mild obsession is something that happens to me a LOT. Like, whenever something new comes around. Something interesting, exciting, different… things that have potential.
End of story with TG, I think at that point, I totally scared him away. Which is not shocking. I’m sure on his end I was that annoying girl that always called. We’re still the good friends we always were, but never dated again. Which is a good thing. Because I think that he and I make much better friends than we do anything else.
That story has two meanings or associations today.
The first is that I am trying SO hard not to face-stalk my friends. Especially the ones that have been quiet online for a few days. Online does NOT equal alive, and I’m sure that in fact, it means the exact opposite. Not to say that I am NOT living; I’ve got good reason to be chained to a computer all day. But some of my friends have lives, and jobs, outside of the internet. I love and respect that. I don’t want to be THAT PERSON, and as excited as I am about still being able to have some kind of connection, I don’t want to scare my friends away by totally harassing them.
The second is to remind myself and everyone else that the internet and our cell phones don’t guarantee instant gratification. EVER. Just because you send a text message or an email to someone doesn’t mean that they will respond immediately. Sometimes people are too busy. Sometimes they need to digest everything you said before responding. Some things don’t even warrant a response.
I think we are all guilty of forgetting that. It is a byproduct of living in our time. Everything is available at the tip of our fingers and we forget that patience is necessary. I know I forget it every time I send a message. But I remember it every time I get a phone call I don’t feel like answering, etc. Sometimes, people just don’t have the time or the inclination to be talking. It doesn’t mean we don’t love our friends, it just means that maybe at that moment we can’t handle a conversation.
And with that, I will go back to trying NOT to face stalk my friends and trying NOT to think about what they have to do today, or yesterday, or always… because as much as we would like to believe that it is, the internet is not a place for personal relationships. And the world doesn’t revolve around any of us, nor does anyone else’s.
(insert fight club quote about not being an individual snowflake HERE)